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Concussions, by the New Book

For decades in the N.F.L., the operative term for the situation was that someone “got dinged.” It was a cute, almost harmless-sounding description of what was often a concussion or a worrying subconcussive blow to the head.

But with the N.F.L. agreeing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by about 5,000 former players who said the league hid from them the dangers of repeated hits to the head, a backpedaling league has corrected its lingo and hastily amended its methodology. The N.F.L. now has a concussion management protocol, outlined in an inches-thick document that commands teams to institute a specific, detailed game-day and postconcussion course of action.

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Can helmets protect your kids from concussions like companies claim?

From Pop Warner to the pros, football players will soon strap on their helmets for another hard-hitting season on the gridiron. Those hard hits can be dangerous, even deadly. Helmet companies claim new products can protect your kids from concussions, but do they really work?

The big helmet-to-helmet hits send football fans to their feet. The problem is that the hits also send players to the hospital. The concussion discussion dominates safety speak at every level.

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Concussions From Football Practices — Not Just Games — Are Big Part Of Problem

 A lineman who plays in high school, college and the pros may retire with 10,0000 sub-concussive hits, none of which were diagnosed, none of which he is aware of. The aggregate of these hits produce brain damage much more severe than being knocked out three times.

Prominent neurologists and researchers like Robert Cantu, Julian Bailes, Kevin Guskiewicz, Kristen Willeumier and David Hovda report that three or more concussions may lead to exponentially higher rates of Alzheimer’s, ALS, dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and depression. This is different from other injuries. Brain function provides memory, judgment, and personality — what it means to be a sentient human being. That is why we are forming a new foundation, “Athletes Speak,” with players advocating awareness and prevention.

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Dan Marino to withdraw from NFL concussion lawsuit

Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino yesterday said he will withdraw from a lawsuit that accuses the National Football League of hiding the effects of concussions because he was inadvertently listed as a plaintiff in the case.

Marino, 52, who was the highest-profile former player involved in legal action against the league over head injuries,  said in a statement issued to Sports Illustrated magazine that in the past year he authorized a legal claim to be made on his behalf if he ever needed medical coverage due to the long-term effects of football-related head trauma.

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NFL great Marino joins concussion lawsuit

Dan Marino, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and one of the NFL’s highest-profile alums, has joined the ranks of former players suing the league over concussion-related injuries.

In court filings late last week, Marino, 52, claimed that league officials had long been aware of the long-term effects of repeated hits to the head but chose to ignore those warnings and put players’ health at risk.

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Off Season May Not Be Long Enough to Recover From Football ‘Hits’

New research shows that the brains of some football players who had the usual head hits associated with the sport, but no concussions, still had signs of mild brain injury six months after the season ended.

“We followed athletes at the beginning of football season, after and for six months later,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, in Rochester, N.Y.

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NFL, lawyers at work on $765M concussion deal

A judge overseeing thousands of NFL concussion-linked lawsuits says lawyers are still working to address her concerns about a proposed $765 million fund.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody says she fears the fund may not be large enough to cover up to 20,000 retired players for 65 years.

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NFL gives $45M grant to Heads Up Football program that teaches safe tackling techniques to kids

The NFL Foundation is giving USA Football a five-year, $45 million grant to expand the already burgeoning Heads Up Football program that teaches safe tackling to youngsters.

Foundation Chair Charlotte Jones Anderson announced the grant Monday at the league’s owners meetings after the NFL saw the early success of the program. Heads Up Football had nearly 2,800 youth football organizations teaching it during its first year, more than five times early projections.

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Sports Leagues, Athletes Talk Concussions with DC Lawmakers

The NFL joined representatives from the NHL and medical doctors to let Congress know how head injuries are impacting American athletes from junior programs to the pros, saying they are devising safer helmets to guard against the chances of players suffering concussions.

Jeffery Miller, Senior Vice President for Player Health and Safety Policy at the National Football League, testified in Washington that while “football has earned a vital place in the  rhythm of American life,” helmets for players have not caught up to what is necessary to protect players.

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Union, NFL split over research funds

On the eve of the 2013 Super Bowl, Harvard Medical School and the NFL Players Association announced one of the most ambitious sports research projects in history: a $100 million grant from the union to “improve the health and well-being of NFL players.”

But the NFLPA never intended to give $100 million to Harvard, “Outside the Lines” has learned. The announcement was a public relations gambit by the union to pressure the NFL into putting up half of the money for a study that would address fundamental questions about player health, including the long-term impact of concussions.

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