In 2002, Dr. Bennet Omalu was the first to describe chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a published study. Since his initial findings, the disease has slowly become the center of public attention. After the NFL’s acceptance of Omalu’s research findings in 2009, the pace of research progress has grown exponentially. Dr. Omalu’s findings have had profound consequences for everyone.
A recent article from ESPN reopened the controversy that has plagued CTE since it’s discovery. The sports network’s Outside the Lines published a story that the NFL had pulled funding for a University of Boston study researching the relationship between CTE and football.
The story was published the same day that the University of Boston announced a 7-year, multi-million dollar initiative that would attempt to diagnose CTE in living patients. According to Boston.com, the university press release made no mention of the NFL, though it did name other funding sources.
Almost immediately, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy denied the accusation. When pressed, he told ESPN that the National Institutes of Health, the primary financial contributor to the study, decides how to allocate any monies donated to further medical research. A statement by the NIH seemed to confirm the spokesman’s statement.
At the time of writing, there is no clear answer to whether the NFL is making financial decisions about funding medical research through the NIH. What has been confirmed, however, is that the 7-year University of Boston initiative will go ahead, and can expect nearly double the current amount of funds in the future.
The controversy over funding, whether true or not, lends credence to the old saying, “There’s no such thing as bad press.” Furthering research efforts and informing the public about the dangers of CTE is important, and the back and forth between ESPN and the NFL only heightens public awareness.
In the meantime, progress is being made on multiple fronts. Public awareness of the issue is growing, as evidenced by the smash-hit Concussion, starring Will Smith. The disease hit a milestone recently when a panel of neuropathologists concluded that CTE has a pathognomonic signature in the brain. In plain language, CTE is now an officially recognized disease, separate and distinct from other neuropathological disorders.
While we look forward to continued research efforts that will improve the quality of life for CTE sufferers, there are millions around the country that remain undiagnosed and untreated. We at Crandall & Pera Law have made it our mission to fight for patients’ rights, even when they may be unaware of their injuries until it is far too late.
If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury that left you unable to work or affected your quality of life, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law will fight for you rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation at one of our offices in Ohio or Kentucky.