Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Scientists publish criteria for diagnosing CTE in living people for first time

Scientists have produced the first consensus criteria to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in living people.

The state of play: As of now, CTE can only be diagnosed after death. But a new paper, written by over 20 scientists, is a step toward a "biomarker" that could definitively say whether a living person has the disease.

"It's a game-changer for the future. We're really not at the point of being able to diagnose CTE during life. We're getting much closer, and this new paper is an important step forward."
Robert Stern, director of clinical research at Boston University, via WashPost

Why it matters: The closer scientists get to being able to detect CTE during life, the closer the existential threat to contact sports, namely football, becomes.

  • What happens when an active NFL player finds out he has CTE? Will he retire? What happens when numerous players find out?
  • Scariest of all, what if a 15-year-old football player is diagnosed with CTE? Should youth football even continue?

Of note: Flag football is on the rise due to safety concerns around kids starting tackle football too early. But roughly 1.4 million kids ages 6 to 12 still played tackle as of 2018.

The backdrop: The brains of deceased NFL players like Junior Seau and Ken Stabler have been donated to science so CTE could be confirmed, and the results are alarming.

  • Eye-opening stat: Ann McKee, a neuropathologist, examined the brains of 111 deceased NFL players. All but one had CTE.
  • The NFL has responded by making the game safer through rule changes and equipment upgrades, and America's love affair with football has continued largely unabated.
  • 71 of the 100 most-watched broadcasts of 2020 were NFL games, and just last week the league nearly doubled its already massive TV deals.
Ann McKee announces her findings on her examination of Aaron Hernandez's brain in 2017. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Between the lines: The exact cause of CTE remains unclear, but we do know that it can be detected at an early age and spread rather quickly.

  • Tyler Hilinski, the former Washington State QB who died by suicide, had Stage 1 CTE. He was 20.
  • Aaron Hernandez, who killed himself in his prison cell, had Stage 3 CTE, which researchers had never seen in a brain under 46 years old. Hernandez was 27.

The big picture: As scary as CTE is to read about, that's mostly what we've done: read about it. What happens when we see it?

  • The reality of this disease has been conveyed mostly through studies and tragic stories told by family members of the deceased.
  • What happens when we know people who have it? What happens when we hear them talk about it and see them suffering from it?

The bottom line, via The Nation's Dave Zirin: "The days of plausible deniability — by the NFL, by players, and by fans — will be coming to a screeching halt in the next several years."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free and confidential support for anyone in distress, in addition to prevention and crisis resources. Also available for online chat.

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

Keep reading... Show less

UN: 10,000 Palestinians flee homes in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Seven people, including one child, have been killed in Israel, according to Israeli authorities.

Keep reading... Show less

Bernie Sanders: The U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

Keep reading... Show less

Uber launches new anti-racism efforts, hires new inclusive design lead

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.

Keep reading... Show less

Ex-Gaetz associate admits to sex trafficking, agrees to cooperate with federal prosecutors

Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), agreed to cooperate with federal investigators and admitted to a variety of federal charges including sex trafficking a minor, New York Times reported Friday citing court papers.

Why it matters: Investigators believe Greenberg introduced women to Gaetz for paid sex and are looking into the Florida congressman's alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg could be a key witness as federal prosecutors decide whether to charge Gaetz.

Keep reading... Show less

White House: User fees for infrastructure deal would "violate" Biden's tax pledge

The White House on Friday said that Republicans' idea to impose user fees for infrastructure spending would "violate" President Biden's promise not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 annually.

What they're saying: "The president's pledge and his commitment, his line in the sand, his red line, whatever you want to call it, is that he will not raise taxes for people making less than $400,000 a year," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. "User fees that have been proposed out there would violate that."

Keep reading... Show less

City of Columbus, Andre Hill's family agree to $10M settlement over the fatal police shooting

Columbus, Ohio, on Friday reached a $10 million settlement with the family of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot by police as he walked out of a garage while holding a cellphone.

What they're saying: "We understand that because of this former officer's actions, the Hill family will never be whole," City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement. "No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family, but we believe this is an important and necessary step in the right direction."

Keep reading... Show less

"Mass Effect": Gaming's biggest space opera returns

The iconic spacefaring adventure "Mass Effect" is back today with "Mass Effect: Legendary Edition," a single, remastered version of all three games.

Why it matters: There is no series like "Mass Effect" — even when it comes to BioWare's other choice-driven RPGs like "Dragon Age." "Mass Effect" is a big ol' space adventure first and foremost, but it’s also about loyalty, love, and tough calls.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories