Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | Depression | brain | concussion | cte | disorder | dementia

NFL Funds Not Used in Brain Research Grant

NFL Funds Not Used in Brain Research Grant
(Copyright DPC)

Wednesday, 23 December 2015 04:49 PM

Nearly $16 million in new funding is making its way to researchers at several universities and institutes that investigating new ways to diagnose and treat a concussion-related brain disease that has stricken many professional football payers.

But not a cent of that new funding is coming from the NFL, which has prompted criticism of the football league, The New York Times reports.

The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke issued the seven-year grant as part of a long-term study of how diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits in contact sports, while victims are still alive.

Currently, CTE can only be definitively diagnose by autopsy. Many former NFL and college football players who sustained multiple concussions on the field have been diagnosed with the condition.

Yet despite the implications that the research may have on football players and the NFL, no league money was included in the grant.

“There are so many critical unanswered questions about CTE,” Dr. Robert Stern, the lead principal investigator of the research effort and a professor at Boston University School of Medicine, said in a statement. “We are optimistic that this project will lead to many of these answers, by developing accurate methods of detecting and diagnosing C.T.E. during life, and by examining genetic and other risk factors for this disease.”

In 2012, the NFL pledged $30 million to the NIH to pay for research on CTE and other issues related to head trauma. But the new grant funding did not include the NFL funding.

“We expect that the N.F.L. will fund future studies to help improve player safety and health, on and off the field,” according to an NIH statement.

ESPN reported Tuesday that the NFL did not want its money used for the research because Boston University researchers, who have been critical of the league and the way it has handled player concussions, were involved. The report said the NFL managed to influence the foundation administering the funds.

But NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that the league did not “pull funding” from the study, that “the NIH makes all funding decisions.”

The new study involves 50 researchers from 17 research institutions, including the University of Arizona, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Boston University, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Cleveland Clinic.

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NFL dollars are not included in nearly $16 million in new funding for researchers who are investigating new ways to diagnose and treat a concussion-related brain disease that has stricken many professional football payers.
brain, concussion, cte, disorder, dementia, alzheimer, depression, suicide, football
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 04:49 PM
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