On the day the NFL kicks off the start of a brand new season, the league has made a record $30 million funding pledge to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
The focus of the funding will be aimed at advancing research into brain injuries and is also intended to benefit military members and the general population in addition to football players and other athletes, officials said.
“Our goal is to aggressively partner with the best scientists to understand more about the brain and brain injuries, to make things safer for our athletes and for others,” Goodell said. “If we can learn more about the brain, we can not only make football safer, but make things safer for other sports and other walks of life.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cited that while specific areas of research are still being developed, some potential areas of interest include; “chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); concussion management and treatment; and the understanding of the potential relationship between traumatic brain injury and late-life neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease.”
“We hope this grant will help accelerate the medical community’s pursuit of pioneering research to enhance the health of athletes past, present and future,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the league’s press release. “This research will extend beyond the NFL playing field and benefit athletes at all levels and others, including members of our military.”
“There is no question that head injury is a serious and devastating complication of playing in the NFL.” said Rod J. Oskouian, MD, a Seattle neurosurgeon at Swedish Hospital.
“This $30 million donation is a significant milestone event that the NFL has decided to put money into helping fund research into traumatic brain injury. We treat professional athletes all the time who have suffered both spinal and cranial injuries from their playing years.” Dr. Oskouian added.
According to the league, the pledge represents the largest donation in NFL history.
Read the entire NFL press release.