News & AnalysisNeuroscience

NFL Kicks Off Brain Injury Research Effort

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Science  22 Mar 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6126, pp. 1367
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6126.1367

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The National Football League (NFL) has announced a major new research effort, the Head Health Initiative, aimed at studies into chronic traumatic encephalopathy—a neurodegenerative disease associated with concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injury. Much of the damage that occurs when an NFL player gets violently hit can't be seen on a traditional CT or MRI scan. As a result, clinicians are left to judge whether an athlete can safely play again based on murky behavioral and cognitive symptoms. Some of the new money will help researchers investigate how concussions lead to long-lasting brain damage and whether certain people are more susceptible.