I found this article at CNN interesting:
(CNN)Scientists have zeroed in our genetic code to better determine why some people develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the Alzheimer’s-like disease associated with repeated hits to the head. In a new study, researchers at Boston University’s CTE Center say that a variant of the gene TMEM106B may influence why some people experience more severe forms of the disease than others.
“Among people who have CTE, people with this [genetic] variation are 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia,” said Dr. Jesse Mez, assistant professor of neurology at Boston University’s School of Medicine. Mez was a co-author of the study, published Saturday in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications.
Mez said the findings, though early, are a step toward better understanding of the disease. “It helps us better understand biologically, mechanistically, what is going on in the brain in CTE.
“In understanding the mechanism and in identifying this genetic risk factor, we have new potential targets to develop therapies,” he said.
The authors point out that their findings need to be further investigated in a larger group and replicated to make any definitive conclusions.
My interpretation of all of this is that CTE is multifactorial in its causes and that as our tools become better that is likely to be the case for all sorts of ailments that are presently thought to be caused by pathogens or lifestyle diseases.
I doubt that will save football, however. I strongly suspect that within a decade youth football (pre-high school) will largely have vanished and that high school football won’t be far behind. That will have a cascade effect on professional football.