By On September 25th, 2008

Brain Injury and the NFL

The articles pop up on occasion–a football player here, a boxer there–and details the ongoing research that goes into sports-related concussions.

Recently the New York Times ran a feature on some NFL players who are donating their battered brains to science in an effort to help researchers understand the nature of repeated concussions. This is a good thing, sort of.

One of my big concerns that the piece reveals is that the NFL is conducting their own studies on concussions, which they plan to release in a couple of years. On first glance, it sounds noble and praiseworthy, but there's an ethical issue involved here. Should an organization that stands to lose so much be in charge of pioneering a study like this? Isn't this sort of like Philip Morris issuing its own studies on lung cancer? I'd be curious to learn what kind of protocols are in place to validate the studies the NFL is doing, and what, exactly, is being studied, but I don't hear any of this being reported.

If you're aware of any details about the NFL concussion studies, I invite you to email me at mmason (insert at sign) brookhavenhospital.com and share your knowledge.

Click here to read 12 Athletes Leaving Brains to Concussion Study

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