NFL Launches Concussion Website

NFL Launches Concussion Website

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The National Football League has launched a new website to spread information about the link between football and traumatic brain injuries.

The NFL announced the launch of the site, called NFLHealthandSafety.com, this week.

The site features links to NFL Charities Medical Grants that support research on TBIs; media stories dealing with safety and health issues; and a history of rule changes that have affected player safety.

The NFL has been grappling with ways to make football safer for its players without sacrificing the hard-hitting action that has helped make the sport the most popular and lucrative in the country.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disease linked to ALS, depression and cognitive impairment, has been found in long-retired football players, raising health concerns over the negative short and long-term effect of head injuries, particularly concussions, suffered by players of all ages.

The NFL initially downplayed any link between football head trauma and cognitive decline, even though former players had been making the case for years, CBS News reported.

Congress finally stepped in following the release of a 2009 study sponsored by the league showing evidence that retired players had long-term mental trauma. At one hearing a Democratic congresswoman compared the NFL's stance on concussions to tobacco companies' denial that smoking causes lung cancer.

The NFL responded by finally acknowledging the potential long-term consequences of concussions and began taking steps toward addressing the problem. Starting this year an NFL player who sustains a concussion cannot return to the game that day. The league also began levying hefty fines against players for dangerous and flagrant helmet-to-helmet hits, according to ESPN.

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