Seeking Tests for a Contested Brain Disease
Tony Dorsett was always quick on his feet, nimbly evading many crushing collisions as a star running back for the Dallas Cowboys. Still, the former National Football League (NFL) player sustained numerous concussions during his 12-year career. Now, Dorsett believes he is paying for those hits. Last year, several news outlets reported that after having his brain scanned at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dorsett was told he shows signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease associated with repeated blows to the head. Dorsett's bombshell shocked the sports world—and alarmed many CTE researchers. Despite a widespread belief that the brain disorder is common among athletes in high-impact sports, there is no proven method of diagnosing CTE while a patient is alive, says Samuel Gandy, MD, a neurologist at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
- Dr. Samuel Gandy, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Associate Director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center