Recently, the NFL awarded more than $35 million to five groups studying the diagnosis and treatment of brain injury in thousands of former professional football players. The five-year project will include brain scans, blood tests, and annual surveys. It'll also look at potential ways to reduce the risk of damage after a hit to the head. The scientists are hoping to pinpoint the most promising treatments that could move into clinical trials — and, one day, could be used to prevent and treat conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy that have been diagnosed in former athletes and military veterans.

Kevin J. Mullins, MD, Chair of Neurosciences, Catholic Health Services; Chief of Neurology, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center reacted to the news. He said:

“Properly identifying and rapidly treating concussions is becoming a critical issue for all sports that put a player at risk of suffering this type of injury. This concern spans the spectrum of a local school district involved in the care of student athletes all the way to the big business of professional sports. I am not surprised that the NFL is attempting to take the lead in funding research in this area given the billions of dollars at stake if the game of football is deemed unsafe for participation at the high school, college and professional level. I am hopeful that this funding will result in accelerated research results and a paradigm for the prevention and treatment of concussions at all levels of participation.”

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