Patt Morrison for February 2, 2010

Can the NFL use your brain when you’re done with it?

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Can the NFL use your brain when you’re done with it?

For the longest time, the NFL had an interesting stance on head injuries: football head injuries and brain disorders had no link whatsoever. That was their story, and they stuck to it—even in front of Congress—but now the NFL is finding they could have a serious headache on their hands. Recently they’ve supported the work of independent researchers who are testing former NFL players’ brains to see just how traumatic football is, and to better define the links between concussions and dementia, depression and irrational emotional behavior. Critics are skeptical, the NFL says they’re committed to making the game safer, but is America’s game just too violent?

Guests:

Dr. Ann McKee, professor of neurology & pathology at Boston University’s School of Medicine; director of BU’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy; chief neuropathologist for the National Veterans Affairs Brain Bank

Chris Nowinski, author of “Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis” and founder of the Sports Legacy Institute; former pro wrestler “Chris Harvard” in the WWE

Dr. Thom Mayer, medical director of the NFL Players Association


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