Studies have recently revealed that CTE is more common than most people realize. Also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, this condition is found among those who have suffered brain injuries. Currently, the only way to diagnose CTE is to carry out an autopsy, and that makes long-term studies extremely difficult. Over the last few years, a research team at UCLA has developed a CTE test that may allow doctors to diagnose this condition in living people in the near future.

In order to test for CTE, doctors must carefully inspect brain tissue during an autopsy. There is still quite a bit to learn about this condition, but neurologists have discovered that CTE is typically accompanied by abnormal proteins in the brain that kill off healthy brain cells. The test that was developed by the research team at UCLA may be able to identify those abnormal cells in living patients.

Instead of physically examining brain tissue, these researchers are injecting a radioactive tracer into the brain. That tracer attaches itself to the abnormal cells within a matter of hours. The researchers can then identify the abnormal cells with a traditional PET scan. A neurosurgeon at Chicago’s NorthShore University HealthSystem believes that this will allow doctors to diagnose and potentially treat CTE in its earliest stages.

A brain injury can happen at any time, and many victims don’t realize that they may be entitled to some compensation. These injuries could be the result of auto collisions, domestic abuse or other tragic events. An attorney may be able to help a victim navigate the legal system and identify the proper evidence. The compensation might be used to cover a myriad of expenses ranging from lost wages to medical bills.