Researchers from Simpson College are working on a pilot program to see if saliva samples are a viable tool to find warning signs for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes.
“This form of testing
will provide us with diagnostic data and as a monitoring tool,” Simpson
Professor Mike Hadden, who teaches sport science and health education,
said. “It will be a real breakthrough with concussions
and we hope will remove the guessing aspect of an athlete returning to
The data will be
collected and tested at regular intervals using a technology developed at Tufts
University that allows researchers to measure inflammatory markers and proteins
using saliva samples. CTE is associated with abnormal aggregations of tau protein
in the brain, and inflammation is believed to be a reason behind those
“The ease at which
this testing can be done makes it simple for everyone to see their results
immediately,” said Sue Wilson from 3EWellness of Indianola, who is
collaborating on the study with Hadden and Tufts’ David Walt.
The research is
sponsored by non-profit CTE-Hope, a memorial organization for Indianola native Zac
Easter who took his life following a six-year struggle with CTE.
Organizations in this story
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