What is a CTE scan, exactly?
CHRONIC TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY is a brain disorder that is frequently linked to repeated head trauma.
Concussions are common in pro-sports players, and the condition is diagnosed after death.
Because there is no test to run while someone is alive, a CTE scan is used to diagnose the brain disease after they have passed away.
Memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control issues, and aggression are among the most common symptoms of CTE.
CTE is frequently linked to those who have served in the military or who have participated in professional sports such as football, hockey, or boxing.
Aaron Hernandez, a former NFL tight end who was convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd in 2013, was one of the most well-known cases of CTE.
After killing six people and then himself in an April 2021 shooting spree, former San Francisco 49ers cornerback Phillip Adams was diagnosed with CTE similar to Hernandez's.
Following Adams' autopsy, Dr. Ann McKee said of Adams' condition, "He was getting increasingly paranoid, he was having increasing difficulty with his memories, and he was very likely having more and more compulsive behaviors."
"He lived largely alone, and while this may not have been noticed, I doubt it was completely out of the blue."
Throughout his career, Adams had at least two concussions, whereas Hernandez had only one documented concussion.
While there is currently no cure or treatment for CTE, there are medications that can be used to help improve cognitive functions while people are still alive.
According to the Weill Institute for Neurosciences, doctors frequently prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, atypical antipsychotics, and cholinesterase inhibitors to try to alleviate symptoms.
Behavioral therapies have also been shown to aid in the treatment of mood swings that are common in CTE patients.