CTE is is a real issue. We don't really pretend to understand it fully. Dr. Ann McKee and Dr. Dan Pearl and many others around the nation that are neuro pathologists have contributed hugely to our understanding of the tau protein and the pathology related to that. What is causing it, why it is it ends up in the parts of the brain, where it registers and so forth, and why it affects certain people is ... is a big mystery still. And one of the things that we don't understand fully is what's the the effect of that whole tau pathology in people who don't have traumatic brain injury. So a lot of the research that is going on that we hear about out of Boston and elsewhere is basically the numerator of the equation. We don't know what the denominator is. There ... there are not large societal studies that come to brain biopsy or autopsy and so forth that tell us that and we still don't have adequate neuroimaging scanners that can detect it in a fail safe and reliable way. At least not right now. We're getting closer, but I think we need to look at what is the true incidence across the nation. I might have it for all I know and I don't have any long history of multiple concussions and so forth. But there certainly are tau pathologies known in other parts of the world. More so than here and associated with certain neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's. There are pieces of that that actually merge under the circumstances that have to do with tau. And so we really have a lot to learn and it's going to take a concerted effort again to look at that in a ... in a societal large-scale way. This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation.
James Kelly, MA, MD, FAAN, a neurologist, is one of America’s top experts on treating concussions. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health.