CTE findings create more requests for CTE assessment

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Despite the fact that no one really knows what it means to have CTE, the effort — intentional or not — to create mass hysteria regarding the consequences of a potential CTE diagnosis is working.

According to ESPN’s Outside The Lines, more former football players want to be tested for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the wake of recent news that the condition has been discovered in multiple former NFL players, including Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett.

The article states that researchers from UCLA and a company known as TauMark, which has developed a brain scan that supposedly spots CTE in living persons, have been “inundated” with inquiries.  (Two paragraphs later, William Weinbaum of ESPN.com writes that “well over 100 former players” have contacted the program, which makes the use of the term “inundated” seem a little strong given the total number of former NFL and college football players in America.)

Regardless of the characterization, folks understandably are curious about whether they have CTE, even though no one yet knows what it actually means to have CTE.

As Dr. Matt McCarthy wrote last month for Deadspin, a potential for panic currently exists among current and former players who fear that a time bomb softly ticks inside their skulls.  For those who don’t have symptoms, what will it mean to be diagnosed with CTE?

No one currently knows.

Meanwhile, the folks from TauMark (including well-respected and incredibly relentless and successful lawyer Bob Fitzsimmons, who represented Mike Webster in his effort to get disability benefits from the league for head injuries) have established — intentionally or not — the kind of scarcity mentality that will get people to line up to purchase that which they can’t.

“We’re not advertising and not commercially open for business,” Fitzsimmons told ESPN.com regarding TauMark.  “We’re still in the study phase.”

Translation?  Folks will be digging deep to be the first on the block to get a CTE scan, and it’s inevitable that the search for microscopic protein buildups of undetermined consequence in the brains of football players will spread to folks who have played other sports involving repeated contact with the head, like boxing and mixed martial arts and soccer and hockey.

Yes, someone finally has found a way to cash in on the CTE craze, and it’s far more sustainable than a book that barely tries to mask the agenda of making its authors into a modern-day Woodward and Bernstein who bring down Richard Nixon’s favorite sport.

11 responses to “CTE findings create more requests for CTE assessment

  1. Too many words for me to concentrate all the way through this essay……Maybe from CTE, but not sure……..

  2. Might want to check into refs enforcing penalties on players other than QBs and WRs if they want to really help these guys out.

    You know, little infractions like ejecting guys who facemask a TEs helmet off his head before headbutting him fifteen feet in front of an official.

    Little things like that.

  3. It just means players want a test done for CTE before a test has been invented, but the first person who does will be a millionaire. That pretty much $ums it up!

  4. Now I am wondering how they are confirming CTE. When I have no seen any reliable tests besides autopsy after death?

    If he is suffering memory issues and or rage, judgement problems, how can a doctor say his “anger, poor judgment, and irritability” and “memory worsened” is CTE vs early-onset Alzheimer??

    There has been studies where CTE was assumed in football players and upon death/autopsy …No CTE
    “CTE’s symptoms mirror those of other neurodegenerative diseases, flipping a coin to determine whether any of the players suffered from CTE would have been as effective as a pre-mortem diagnosis.”

    Again, there is no 100pct or even 50pct test for a living person with regards to CTE. It is all best guess.

  5. “$ums it up” really says a lot!

    Earlier this week I read an article tracing the NFL’s response to CTE and how closely it parallels the tobacco industry’s response to cigarettes cause cancer issue in the fifties and sixties. Deny, obfuscate, repeat.

    The only way to tell if this new testing procedure actually is able to diagnose CTE in the living is to test it, not hide it from view. I imagine the licensing fees would be lucrative, which is probably what they are looking at.

    I really don’t know what a person with CTE can do to prevent its development, but, if the problem is recognized, that could lead to palliative care.

    Here’s hoping!

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