BU Study Suggests Method To Detect CTE In Living Patients

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(Getty Images/Scukrov)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Researchers at Boston University say they're not quite there yet, but a new test may be able to detect the degenerative brain disease CTE while patients are still alive.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday found signs of an abnormal protein in the brains of former NFL players and others with behavioral or mood problems, which could indicate patters of the disease.

This is the first time a major study has used scans to find signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It is often caused by repeated blows to the head, and has only been diagnosed after death.

Officials say the early returns are encouraging, but caution that the scans cannot yet diagnose patients with the disease.

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