A new study, conducted by a group of scientists from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the Boston University School of Medicine, has revealed that patients who suffer successive concussions are vulnerable to develop mimic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is an untreatable disease that attacks the muscles, causing degeneration that leads to paralysis and ultimately death.
Although they were not able to examine the dead athlete’s nervous system, Dr. Ann McKee, an Associate Professor of Neurology and Pathology at the Boston University School of Medicine and the lead researcher of this study, and a team of researchers studied Lou Gehrig's portfolio, saying that the dead legend had more than 3 major concussions before being diagnosed with the terminal ALS.
In addition, the team used data of 3 other cases, 2 football players and a boxer, who died of the same disease. The study, published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, proved that the three players had concussions several times, which induced the secretion of a certain type of protein, called TDP-43, in their brain and spinal cord. The protein attacks the nucleus of the nervous system
The study was associated with another piece of information. Although 30,000 U. S. patients have been diagnosed with ALS, only 27,000 knew how they got it.