Thursday May 26th, 2016

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a letter to the owners and presidents of all 32 NFL teams to address the league’s commitment to concussion research, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN. 

“I want to reaffirm in the strongest possible terms my comments to you during the league meeting and my public statements this week reaffirming the NFL’s commitment to the NIH of the $30 million in grant funding we pledged to accelerate scientific understanding of concussion and head injury.” Goodell wrote. “There was no consideration given to anything other than honoring that commitment in its entirety.

“The research you have funded thus far is significant. It includes $12 million that has been allocated through the NIH for two $6 million agreements dedicated to studies that define the long-term changes that occur in the brain after a head injury or multiple concussions. Boston University School of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs received $6 million for a study on CTE and post-traumatic neurodegeneration, while Mount Sinai Hospital received $6 million for a study on the neuropathology of CTE and Delayed Effects of TBI. Additionally, the NFL grant has funded six pilot projects totaling more than $2 million to provide support for the early stages of sports-related concussion projects.”

The letter comes in the week that congressional investigators issued a report stating that top NFL health officials attempted to influence concussion research.

The NFL reportedly attempted to push the National Institutes of Health to move $16 million from a Boston University researcher and give it to a member of the league's committee on brain injuries. The NFL’s $30 million donation to the NIH was originally an unrestricted gift. 

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