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NFL allegedly tried to influence brain injury research

Pennsylvania football fans may have heard about the link between football and a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. On May 23, a senior House Democrat report claimed that officials from the National Football League tried to sway the results of brain research. The NFL allegedly withdrew a donation after it learned that the money might be used to fund research linking football to brain diseases.

According to New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, the NFL originally pledged $30 million to the National Institutes of Health for brain research. However, the league decided against donating the money when the NIH refused to withdraw Boston University researcher Robert Stern's $16 million research grant. Stern is considered a leading authority on the connection between chronic traumatic encephalopathy and football.

Though the NFL is denying claims that it exerted improper influence on brain research, Rep. Pallone said that his investigation confirmed that the NFL tried to use a donation to keep funding away from its critics. In the research agreement it made with the NIH, the NFL agreed not to influence the grant selection process. The NFL medical director reportedly told the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health that the NFL was very concerned about Boston University's ability to be unbiased and collaborative.

While brain injuries are often associated with football and other types of contact sports, they can arise in a variety of scenarios. They are not uncommon in car collisions, for example, and a person who has suffered such an injury due to the negligence of another motorist may want to have legal help in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

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