As media attention on the repercussions of concussions in professional athletes grows and medical imaging improves, more is being revealed about the long-term cognitive deficits associated with mild traumatic brain injuries. According to an article published on Dec. 17 by NPR.org, the National Institutes of Health have recently announced eight projects largely funded by the NFL that will study the long-term effects of repeated head injuries and will hopefully develop better tools for diagnosing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and concussions. Currently, CTE--a disease found in people with a history of concussions such as boxers and professional football players-- can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem.
Researchers hope to determine features of CTE that are detectable on scans of living brains, but are limited by a lack of donated brains. To learn more about these new research efforts, click below: