Scan may detect signs of NFL players’ brain disease

 

Scan may detect signs of NFL players’ brain disease

Scan may detect signs of NFL players’ brain disease.

An insidious, microscopic protein that has been found in the brain tissue of professional football players after death may now be detectable in living people by scanning their brains.

Researchers say they found tau protein in the brains of five living retired National Football League players with varying levels of cognitive and emotional problems.

Using a scan called positron emission tomography, or PET – typically used to measure nascent Alzheimer’s disease – researchers injected the players with a radioactive marker that travels through the body, crosses the blood-brain barrier and latches on to tau.