Despite its promise to fund brain injury research, the National Football League will contribute no money to a forthcoming study into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the condition which is linked to multiple concussions sustained by athletes.
The National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke issued a $16 million, seven-year grant to researchers at Boston University and sixteen other institutions. The NIH claims that it approached the NFL for money, since the league committed $30 million to CTE research as part of a massive 2012 class-action settlement, but that it then withdrew its request after the NFL dragged its feet regarding the matter. ESPN reported that the NFL refused to endow the study because Boston University is involved.
An NFL spokesperson denied these reports, insisting that the league did not “pull funding” from the project and that “the NIH makes all funding decisions.”
Thousands of former professional football players either live with a brain injury or have died from the effects of CTE, but this number represents just a tiny fraction of the estimated 5.3 million Americans who are living with a traumatic brain injury; moreover, each year about 1.4 million TBI victims are hospitalized and around 50,000 die. Children under 14 and adults over 75 are the most at-risk groups, although a TBI can happen to anyone at any time.
While CTE may be caused by repetitive moderate blows to the head or neck, most traumatic brain injuries stem from a sudden traumatic event. The most common causes are:
- Falls: A simple slip in the tub or misstep on the sidewalk often causes severe injury in children and older adults.
- Motor Vehicle Crashes: The secondary or tertiary impacts in a collision – when the occupants’ heads are slammed against the dashboard, windshield, or windows and loose items, like books and cellphones, become high-speed projectiles – are the most common cause of TBI deaths.
- Struck By: Low ceilings and unprotected table corners are just two examples of common hazards in New York homes.
Other TBI causes include assaults and sports injuries. A significant portion of these injuries cannot be traced to a specific cause, quite possibly because most victims do not remember what happened.
A brain injury has life-altering financial and emotional consequences. For a free consultation with attorneys who help you deal with the fallout, contact our office. We have nationwide resources while maintaining a small-town atmosphere.