Research of NFL Brain Sputters Along; Epidemiologic Study Nowhere in Sight for Afflicted Players
Critics of autopsy-based NFL research contend large-scale epidemiological study of living players is urgently needed, valid random clinical trial conducted by a multidisciplinary team of experts and preferably free from influence by the likely funding sources of football. Large control groups must be assembled and quickly, among challenges, say observers such as epidemiologist Charles E. Yesalis, ScD, professor emeritus of Penn State University.
No party among the NFL, the NFLPA and NCAA has yet to support such ambitious, costly research while the government has expressed no interest, and other potential sponsors aren’t forthcoming at moment.
Smaller studies are underway, nevertheless, and findings and expert opinion increasingly suggest epidemic parameters for cognitive impairment in players of pro football, if not those of collegiate, school and youth levels.