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article imageNFL settles concussion case

By Tim Sandle     Aug 31, 2013 in Health
The National Football League (NFL) has agreed to pay out a total of $765 million to help cover the medical expenses of more than 4,500 former players and to fund research on head injuries.
The news of the NFL payments follows news earlier this year that the NFL had announced that, in partnership with General Electric, it will give $60 million over 4 years to research brain-trauma disease. This was move, although welcomed by some, was criticized for ignoring the many players who had been apparently suffered brain injuries whilst playing football.
The link between American football and brain trauma has been reported on several times across the Digital Journal, including Junior Seau, the NFL linebacker who committed suicide last May, who was suffering with brain trauma at the time.
Junior Seau’s brain showed abnormalities consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease associated with repetitive head injuries. CTE is a concern for several sports. It is normally associated with individuals who have suffered repeated concussions or similar head injuries, according to The Scientist. CTE is associated with dementia, memory loss, aggression, confusion, and depression. These conditions can occur months or years after the injuries have occurred.
The latest news about the payouts is the conclusion to a much publicized legal battle between the National Football League (NFL) and more than 4,500 former players. The lawsuit was brought against the NFL last summer. The suit alleged that neurological problems suffered by several former players was the result of repeated head injuries arising from the football field and that the NFL has failed to adequately warn the players about the risks.
NBC news reports that most of that money will go to retired players who have severe cognitive impairment, dementia, or Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease, with $75 million for medical exams for retired players, and $10 million for research and education.
Commenting on the outcome, NFL fullback Kevin Turner, a plaintiff in the suit who suffers from a brain injury, told USA Today: "It’s been a struggle to get to this point, but today . . . I am very proud that the NFL has decided to stand up for all the former players who are suffering from brain injuries."
More about NFL, concussion, Head injury, Brain, Brain damage
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