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Signs of trauma documented in living brains

Protein accumulation seen in scans of retired NFL players

8:49pm, January 25, 2013

For the first time, scientists have seen the ravages of repeated concussions in the brains of living people. Brain scans of five retired National Football League players reveal unusual deposits of an ominous protein called tau that used to be identifiable only through autopsy. Tau is a hallmark of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease that causes the gradual appearance of mental and emotional problems in people who have experienced repeated brain trauma.

The new method of looking for tau relies on a chemical that affixes to the protein and serves as a beacon, light
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