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Two Reputable NFL Player Brain Studies Getting Underway

find cte
April 11, 2021
Sheilla Dingus

I always advise caution when former players ask me if I think they should participate in this study or that, and I usually say, “NO.”  The reason for that is that most of the studies I’ve been asked about were either sponsored or funded by NFL and/or NFLPA.  I think of this as similar to a Miranda violation with no warning that your data will most likely be manipulated and used against you and others.

That said, there are a few reputable studies that I’d encourage participation in.  I have great regard and admiration for the work that Boston University and Concussion Legacy Foundation have done in advancing our knowledge of CTE, and how it relates to football exposure.  Two new studies are getting underway; one by BU and the other by Johns Hopkins, endorsed by Concussion Legacy Foundation.

Johns Hopkins Seeking Former NFL Players Age 25 to 40

Does the brain repair itself after repeated NFL concussions? Johns Hopkins research is just beginning to search for the answer to that question. The Concussion Legacy Foundation is supporting this important study. If you are a former NFL player who played 2 or more years, including on the practice squad, you may be eligible to participate in a brain imaging study at Johns Hopkins.

johns hopkins

Click here for more information and to see if you qualify for the study.  If you are interested and think you might be eligible, contact Dr. Jennifer Coughlin at

BU-UCSF Seeking Former NFL Players Age 45 to 74

A new study led by Boston University School of Medicine and UCSF researchers has been awarded a $460,000 grant by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to study the effectiveness of brain imaging in hopes of detecting Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in living people. Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed after death. The Concussion Legacy Foundation is leading recruiting for the FIND-CTE study.

“If we can detect CTE during life, it will bring us closer to our ultimate goal of developing and testing potential treatments,” said Dr. Michael Alosco, co-director of the NIA-funded Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Clinical Core and lead investigator at the BU CTE Center.

bu study

Click here for more information and to see if you qualify for the study. If you are interested and think you might be eligible, contact Karen Smith at if you’d like to be scanned at the University of California, San Francisco or Julia Culhane at to participate at Boston University.

Advocacy for Fairness in Sports is pleased to recommend participation in either of these studies.

Editor at Advocacy for Fairness in Sports | Website

Sheilla Dingus founded Advocacy for Fairness in Sports in October 2016, after a stint with Defenders of the Wall, a New England Patriots based blog where she dived deep into the legal aspects of Deflategate. Along the way, she observed many inequities in sports and felt a need to address some of the under-reported stories in sports law. She draws from her background as a former professional dancer, who like many of the athletes she writes about, took an early retirement due to orthopedic injuries. After a return trip to college she worked for a legal software company, with seven years as a Project Manager and Analyst. She brings her analytical skills to the table in breaking down complex lawsuits, and enjoys pursuing her longtime interest in journalism.

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