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Foundation For the NIH Joins NIH In Seeking Proposals to Study Sports-Related Brain Injuries
Date:4/3/2013

lly focusing on brain injury, especially in athletes and veterans, SHRP may eventually expand to encompass other sports-related issues such as chronic degenerative joint disease, the transition from acute to chronic pain, sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes, and heat and hydration-related illness and injury. The FNIH welcomes other donors, including additional sports organizations, to join the collaboration.

The first research initiative will investigate the neuropathology of CTE and delayed effects of TBI using postmortem biospecimens and histological and neuroimaging tools. Currently CTE can only be diagnosed by examination of the brain after death. It has been observed in athletes exposed to repetitive brain trauma and veterans exposed to blast trauma and other head injuries.

Main areas of new research include developing a better understanding of how commonly CTE occurs in those exposed to a variety of head injuries; development of neuroimaging or other tools that can diagnose the condition in life, clarification of the relationship between clinical signs, symptoms, and risk factors for post-traumatic neurodegeneration and CTE; comparisons between repetitive traumatic events and single events; and characterizing the relationship of CTE with other neurodegenerative disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. This research should contribute to improved understanding of the prevalence and causes of CTE and TBI, as well as the development of improved diagnostic tools.

The second program will support pilot projects on sports-related TBI and spinal cord injury that break new ground and elucidate new research directions to address the many gaps in knowledge about these potentially disabling conditions. This initiative hopes to allow for a wide range of sports and non-sports experts in the scientific field to weigh in on this serious issue. The program will provide support through small grants and larger explo
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