A body of medical research continues to link the repetitive head injuries incurred by football players with lasting brain damage and CNS is proud to be contributing to that research. Since the National Football League agreed to compensate for the care and treatment of its retired players, CNS has conducted imaging scans and neurobehavioral evaluations with a number of these former players.
If you’ve experienced a traumatic brain injury while playing football, CNS may be able to assist you with a diagnosis. Whether you played professionally, at the collegiate level, or as a high school or club amateur, please contact us for more information.
Dr. Benson shared his experience in applying advanced neuroimaging to former football players before a specially convened U.S. House of Representatives’ committee exploring legal issues related to football head injuries.
Currently, CNS is studying the efficacy of using Human Growth Hormone to treat traumatic brain injuries in former NFL players. Growing awareness of concussions and repetitive head injuries have led researchers to explore ways to reverse the impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Among these treatments is human growth hormone replacement therapy (HGHRT).
For more than a decade, those who study the brain have found that the incidence of pituitary hormone deficiency can be as high as 30% with a single TBI. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland in the brain that stimulates hormone production, including hormones related to stress, reproduction, and growth. Replacing growth hormones in individuals with TBIs has led to profound improvements in cognition, quality of life, and activities of daily living.
CNS has embarked on its own research into HGHRT with retired professional football players. To date, we have studied 15 former players, 14 of whom showed growth hormone deficiency with some showing additional hormone-related abnormalities (e.g. low testosterone, thyroid, and cortisol). Eleven of the 14 have been put on growth hormone replacement treatment with a marked reduction in symptoms and a significant enhancement in quality of life. These early, promising observations add to the hypothesis that former football players with symptoms commonly associated with repetitive head injuries—insomnia, impaired memory, suicidal ideation, fatigue, anxiety, and others—can have a dramatically improved quality of life with HGHRT.
CNS seeks funding to broaden this research using clinical research methods. A core control group will receive HGHRT in the first year, while a placebo group will receive HGHRT in the second year. Several tests will be conducted prior to the study, including testing to ensure the subject is right for this research and testing to determine a participant’s cognitive and psychological functioning. Based on preliminary results, CNS expects this study will be successful on many levels. If successful, plans are to broaden the research to include Veterans who have experienced bomb blasts and victims of motor vehicle accidents.
Publication of the findings in peer-reviewed journals would likely lead to greater acceptance of the benefits of HGHRT in treating brain injury.
Help us fund this program – click here to contribute to the NFL Study.