(USA Today) - The NFL announced on Friday that it has committed another $16.43 million to support government-funded research on traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
This represents the remaining dispersal of the original $30 million investment that was allocated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) as part of a five-year agreement that had concluded Aug. 31, 2017.
The funding will be divided among the brain studies being conducted by the Department of Defense, TRACK-TBI, which is funded by FNIH, and the National Institute of Aging.
In a conference call Friday, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said, “I'm extremely excited as a physician and scientist who has been involved in the area of neurosurgery, brain science, athletic concussions; I'm very excited about the selection of these three different areas for funding. …
"The challenge was to find areas of neuroscience research that would be promising and would translate not only to the issues facing our athletes and our game, but broadly across the board, and I think these three areas certainly fulfill that."
The Department of Defense study works with the NCAA and has collected information on more than 2,000 concussions from 30,000 enrolled athletes and cadets since 2014. A total of $7.65 million of the NFL's funds will go toward that program.
The TRACK-TBI study, which takes place at 18 different sites around the country, uses advanced imaging techniques while collecting biological information to help brain studies. The NFL will commit $7.65 million to that program as well.
The league will commit the remaining $2.25 million to the National Institute of Aging, which focuses on the aging process and age-related brain diseases.