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Reader response: Pathologic Thr175 tau phosphorylation in CTE and CTE with ALS

Moszczynski et al.1 examined brain and spinal cord tissues from patients with pathologically defined chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and patients with CTE and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (CTE-ALS). The authors argue that the presence of pathologic tau (Thr175 tau) in the spinal cord is “unique to motor neuron degeneration associated with CTE-ALS,”1 though this is likely not the case. The finding of pathologic tau inclusions in the spinal cord of patients with sporadic ALS is not unusual in our experience, and the finding of Thr175 and Thr217 tau in the brains of patients with sporadic ALS is common.2 It is also not surprising that brain pathology is the same in CTE cases whether or not there is concomitant ALS.

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