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Nascar Working To Find Best Way To Assess Concussions


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray uttered words that make concussion experts cringe.

“It’s a doctor’s opinion,” McMurray told reporters at Daytona 500 media day Wednesday. “I wish they would leave that up to us. Only you know how you feel.”

McMurray held up one example of letting NASCAR drivers police themselves on concussions in star Dale Earnhardt Jr. The rub: Earnhardt raced three times after the wreck at Michigan International Speedway in June that was pinpointed as when he was concussed before he shut it down for the final 18 races of the 2016 Monster Energy Cup Series season.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is the debilitating degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma. Currently, the only scientifically accepted way to diagnose CTE is in a postmortem examination of the brain.

But researchers are working on a way to diagnose CTE in a living patient and ways to identify concussions via a blood draw or through brain imaging.

“There will be a lot of major developments when it comes to this research,” Kevin Hrusovsky, the executive chairman & CEO of diagnostic lab equipment maker Quanterix, told USA TODAY Sports.

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