BU, Mount Sinai will score NFL-backed brain injury grants

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Monday called its first play for $30 million in grant money from the National Football League (NFL), earmarked for the study of traumatic brain injuries in the sport.

A $12 million grant will go to researchers at Boston University and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York to fund pioneering efforts to identify chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in living patients, according to The New York Times. To date, the condition has only been identified in autopsies.

Another $2 million will go toward several initiatives, lasting up to two years, focused on concussions in young athletes, the Times reports. The list of 6 grant recipients includes doctors at Seattle Children's Hospital, who will receive $100,000. Their pilot study will look for elevated levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brains of high school students who receive first-time concussions.

Tied to this $30 million is an additional $20 million from General Electric ($GE), which will run an "innovation challenge" for ideas on how to improve helmets and other safety equipment. The competition and the grant money are part of a partnership announced in February between the company, the league and the government agency.

- read the NYT story (sub. req.)

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