After the deluge of recent allegations of head injuries in professional football, the United States National Institute of Health is now working with the National Football League to study the damaging effects of head injuries and concussions on professional athletes.   The projects will be funded by a $30 million donation by the NFL and will focus on finding answers to why some people are more at risk for developing degenerative brain diseases after suffering concussions during sports.  Concussions cannot be adequately diagnosed as there is no test to determine whether someone has suffered one.  An indication that someone has suffered a concussion may come later in the form of a progressive brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  The NIH will also work to determine signs and symptoms of CTE so as to be able to diagnose patients based on the medical issues they are experiencing.  These studies are also meant to trickle down to child athletes, and will potentially be able to help parents and teachers identify when a child has suffered a concussion and learn how best to manage the injury in order to try to prevent long-term damage.

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