Our TauSome™ biomarker was recently studied as a candidate to diagnose and monitor CTE through the DETECT (Diagnosing and Evaluating Traumatic Encephalopathy Using Clinical Tests) study, which was managed by the Boston University CTE Center. The DETECT study was the first research project on CTE to be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with support from the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). As part of the DETECT, researchers examined 78 former NFL players (ages 40-69) and 16 same-age “control” athletes who played non-contact sports. In the study, researchers observed plasma TauSome levels to be significantly elevated in the NFL group as compared to the control group and that, within the former NFL player group, TauSome plasma levels correlated with performance on standardized tests of memory and psychomotor speed; the higher the TauSome level, the worse the performance. The preliminary results were subsequently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Access to the online version of the publication is available at http://tinyurl.com/zvyd23h. Based on these preliminary findings, the study authors concluded that TauSome levels in blood plasma could be an accurate, noninvasive CTE biomarker. Since the publication, an ongoing analysis of the study data revealed TauSome levels to be approximately 9x higher on average in the NFL group as compared to control subjects.
We are planning to establish a follow-on clinical collaboration with up to 200 former NFL football players and clinical investigators at multiple U.S. site locations. If fully enrolled, the study would be the largest to date in former NFL players, who are at high risk of suffering from CTE. The goal of the study will be to further validate the TauSome biomarker as a candidate to diagnose CTE in living individuals.