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Research Continues On NFL Players’ Health Issues

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the Eagles get ready to start their season, the NFL is giving unprecedented attention to players’ health issues.

The League gave the National Institutes of Health $30 million for research on injuries associated with football, like the study that University of Pennsylvania researchers are conducting on the aftermath of concussions.

When DeSean Jackson went down in a game against Atlanta in 2010, the broadcast team raised a question that has only intensified in the last two years.

“I don’t know how you take that out of the game of football, I don’t know if there’s anything you can do,” said one of the broadcasters.

Dr. Les Shaw thinks he knows the answer.

“The way football is played today, there is no way of doing it,” Dr. Shaw said.

But Dr. Shaw is part of a team trying to at least help track the consequences of those hits over time, by identifying biomarkers of the neurodegenerative disease, traumatic encephalopathy, which often strikes former players.

Dr. Shaw says the study should help athletes, veterans and others too.

“That’s why this is so important,” Dr. Shaw explained.