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NEW YORK (360Dx) – Only the dead can be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

But a test being developed at Boston University may one day offer an alternative to autopsies for diagnosis of the condition, which has been found in scores of former National Football League players, as well as athletes who participated in other contact, sometimes violent sports.

The test is based on the protein biomarker CCL11, whose levels have been elevated in American footballers with CTE, a degenerative brain disease, suspected of being caused by repeated blows to the head.

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