CTE can begin soon after head injury, even in teens, BU study finds

The degenerative brain disease known as CTE starts faster and earlier than previously recognized, as jolts to the head trigger abnormalities even in teenagers, according to new research led by Boston University.

The scientists examined the brains of four deceased teenage athletes, and found surprising signs that CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disabling condition blamed on blows to the head — had been set in motion as early as one day after a head injury.

They also describe experiments in mice subjected to impacts similar to what athletes and soldiers experience, which showed that CTE starts to form right away, and after even one hit.