(CBS) – Doctors and researchers may no longer have to wait until a football players dies to find the damaging affects of concussions in their brains.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, experts at Evanston’s NorthShore Neurological Institute and the University of California Los Angeles conclude they may be closer to detecting chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in living people.

The study compared the brain scans of five NFL players who suffered at least on concussion on the field with five non-players roughly the same age.

The scans reportedly showed that the athletes’ brains had significantly more tau protein, which is typically associated with CTE.

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