Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

NIH, NFL Team Up to Take On Concussion Research

The goal: Understanding long-term effects of head injuries and improving diagnosis

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. National Institutes of Health is teaming up with the National Football League on research into the long-term effects of repeated head injuries and improving concussion diagnosis.

The projects will be supported largely through a $30 million donation made last year to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health by the NFL, which is wrestling with the issue of concussions and their impact on current and former players.

There's growing concern about the potential long-term effects of repeated concussions, particularly among those most at risk, including football players and other athletes and members of the military.

Current tests can't reliably diagnosis concussion. And there's no way to predict which patients will recover quickly, suffer long-term symptoms or develop a progressive brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to an NIH press statement released Monday.

"We need to be able to predict which patterns of injury are rapidly reversible and which are not. This program will help researchers get closer to answering some of the important questions about concussion for our youth who play sports and their parents," Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), said in the news release.

Two of the projects will receive $6 million each and will focus on determining the extent of long-term changes that occur in the brain years after a head injury or after numerous concussions. They will involve researchers from NINDS, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and academic medical centers.

One of the projects will attempt to define a clear set of criteria for various stages of CTE. It will also seek to distinguish it from Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and other degenerative brain diseases that as of now can only be determined in brain tissue samples collected after death. The objective is to find medical signs of CTE that might eventually be used to diagnose the illness in living people.

The other project will seek to identify the long-term effects of mild, moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and compare them with features of CTE. The goal is to identify signs that could be used to diagnose brain degeneration linked to traumatic brain injury in patients.

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
woman in art gallery
Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
senior man
boy hits soccer ball with head
red and white swirl
marijuana plant
brain illustration stroke
nerve damage
Alzheimers Overview
Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix