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Bengals OT Eric Winston vows to donate brain to concussion research

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Erin Winston has pledged to donate his brain to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research.
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Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Eric Winston has pledged to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to help the ongoing research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the dangers of football-related head trauma.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of noise out there in this space,” Winston said. “I think that’s a good thing, even though some of it hasn’t been proven yet, some of it still need a lot more research. But it’s a lot better than 15 years ago when no one was saying anything.”

Concussions and their causes and effects have become prominent topics in sports, especially in football. Dr. Bennet Omalu, who helped discover CTE and linked it to football-specific head trauma after performing autopsies on deceased Steelers players, said earlier this month that children should not be allowed to play the sport.

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The movie Concussion, set to be released Friday, chronicles Omalu’s struggle with the NFL as he fought to bring CTE to the league’s attention and force it to take action.

ESPN’s Outside the Linesreported Tuesday that the NFL would no longer be backing Boston University’s head trauma study. The project was originally slated to be funded by a grant the NFL gave to the National Institutes of Health in 2012. Though the NIH will honor its commitment to paying for the $16 million project, Boston University did not name the NFL as a supporter in its announcement of the initiative.

On Tuesday, Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton announced that the committee will conduct a “broad review” of concussions in 2016, hoping to increase understanding of the injury.

- Xandria James