MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new study is looking into the effects of concussions and brain injuries in former professional football players.

For the first time, researchers at UCLA have been able to identify abnormal proteins in the brains of players while they’re still alive.

Former San Diego Charges Quarterback Wayne Clark is taking part in the study, as he has suffered a concussion that gave him amnesia for a while.

Researchers used a brain imaging tool to identify abnormal proteins associated with a degenerative brain disease.

“It occurs in professional athletes and one sees impairment in memory, sometimes dementia, sometimes behavioral problems, and depression suicidal behavior,” said Dr. Gary Small, UCLA’s Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging.

Until now, this diagnosis could only be made after a person had died.

Researchers hope the findings will lead to treatment of the disease in its early stages.


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