CTE, Desperate Patients, And The Hope For A Cure : Consider This from NPR CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — is a degenerative brain disease found in many former professional football and hockey players, for whom blows to the head have long been part of the job.

But those injuries also occur outside the world of pro sports. And as awareness of CTE has grown, so has a thriving market of dubious remedies marketed to everyday people who believe they are suffering from CTE — a disease that can't even be diagnosed until after death, through an autopsy of the brain.

In the first of two episodes, Sacha Pfeiffer of NPR's Investigative Team reports on some of those desperate patients and their hope for a cure.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

NPR Investigates: CTE, Desperate Patients, And The Hope For A Cure (Pt 1)

NPR Investigates: CTE, Desperate Patients, And The Hope For A Cure (Pt 1)

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As awareness of CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — has grown, so has a thriving market of dubious remedies marketed to everyday people who believe they are suffering from CTE — a disease that can't even be diagnosed until after death, through an autopsy of the brain. Boston University CTE Center and Getty Images/Aaron Marin for NPR hide caption

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Boston University CTE Center and Getty Images/Aaron Marin for NPR

As awareness of CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — has grown, so has a thriving market of dubious remedies marketed to everyday people who believe they are suffering from CTE — a disease that can't even be diagnosed until after death, through an autopsy of the brain.

Boston University CTE Center and Getty Images/Aaron Marin for NPR

CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — is a degenerative brain disease found in many former professional football and hockey players, for whom blows to the head have long been part of the job.

But those injuries also occur outside the world of pro sports. And as awareness of CTE has grown, so has a thriving market of dubious remedies marketed to everyday people who believe they are suffering from CTE — a disease that can't even be diagnosed until after death, through an autopsy of the brain.

In the first of two episodes, Sacha Pfeiffer of NPR's Investigative Team reports on some of those desperate patients and their hope for a cure.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brent Baughman, Meg Anderson, Barbara Van Woerkom, and Monika Evstatieva. It was edited by Barrie Hardymon, Bruce Auster, Fatma Tanis, and Ashley Brown. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.