Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (also called CTE) is a disease with symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s. The most common cause associated to CTE is repeated hits to the brain area and the entire head.
A gene might influence the disease’s development
Recently, researchers from the CTE Center of Boston University discovered that people can develop different forms of the disease. Their findings were published in the Acta Neuropathologica Communications journal.
According to the study, the disease’severity is influenced by a variation found in a gene which is present in our systems ever since we are born. Dr. Jesse Metz, assistant professor of neurology at the School of Medicine from Boston University, declared that people with TMEM 106B variations have increased chances of developing dementia. The possibility is 2.5 times higher than in the case of people who don’t have it.
The study’s results can contribute to finding a treatment for CTE
Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed after people’s death. In this case, medicine hasn’t discovered any cure or treatment for it yet. Even if the severity depends on TMEM 106B, some factors can influence the disease’s development and evolution.
The best example to support this theory are professional football players. After studying the brains of a few deceased ex NFL players, neurologists came to the conclusion that all of them had developed CTE because of repeated head trauma suffered during games.
Most of them didn’t have a lot of symptoms, but their brains showed signs of concussions which could have caused the CTE gene to react. In this case, scientists could see that head trauma can amplify the CTE intensity and symptoms.
The findings are very important for the medical world, but scientists need to look deeper into the problem. It could lead them towards developing a treatment for CTE.