Aethlon Medical begins collaborative biomarker program to study neurodegenerative disease

Aethlon Medical, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AEMD) announced today that it has initiated a collaborative biomarker discovery program with the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University School of Medicine and the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI).

In the collaboration, Aethlon will analyze brain tissue of professional athletes who suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) at the time of their death and from individuals without any evidence of brain disease. CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by brain trauma but with unclear environmental and genetic risk factors. The research goal is to discover common biomarkers, including dormant viruses that might lead to a diagnostic product able to identify athletes with an increased susceptibility to suffer from CTE. Such a test could help distinguish those who should be precluded from participating in football and other activities with a high risk for head trauma. CTE has recently been identified in ten former NFL players, most of whom died before the age of 50 from complications of the disease, including Andre Waters, John Grimsley, Lou Creekmur, Mike Webster, and Tom McHale.

"This collaboration is near and dear to my heart as CTE was identified in Tom McHale, (Click Here for NY Times Story) a friend and former high school and college teammate who died at the age of 45 last year," stated Aethlon Chairman and CEO, Jim Joyce. "Additionally, we have the opportunity to showcase that the scientific advancements underlying our infectious disease and cancer treatment devices provide the basis for new products to discover the presence of biomarkers associated with various medical conditions," concluded Joyce. Aethlon Medical also disclosed it will provide SLI with a $25,000 unrestricted educational grant to support educational outreach.

"Aethlon Medical has presented a wonderful opportunity to advance CTE research," said SLI co-founder Chris Nowinski, who is also a Co-Director at the CSTE. "Historically, a small number of viruses have been found to lead to later life neurodegeneration characterized by tau protein deposition, including encephalitis lethargica (also known as von Economo encephalitis and the "sleeping sickness"), and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), caused by a defective measles virus. We also appreciate Aethlon's support in helping us continue our educational and prevention efforts."

Most recently, CTE research advanced by CSTE and SLI researchers has been broadly covered in the media, including; 60 Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, USA Today, HBO, and ESPN. Last week, four CSTE and SLI representatives testified before a congressional judiciary committee investigating the impact of head injuries sustained by NFL players.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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