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Wash U and Barnes to provide neurological care to retired football players

By Veronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital will participate in a new program to provide neurological care to retired professional football players.

The National Football League has selected Wash U and Barnes as one of five medical centers to participate in the program, along with centers in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Wash U neurologist David Brody says people like athletes and military personnel who have multiple concussions over the course of their lifetimes can develop a range of health problems.

"The most common issues that we deal with are cognitive impairments, emotional instability, difficulties with headaches, there can be some movement disorders which can be similar to Parkinson's disease, there can be epileptic seizures, there's often personality changes, and depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, sleep disorders "

Brody says the new program aims to diagnose and treat retired football players, to encourage collaborative research, and to raise awareness about repetitive concussive injuries, both in the NFL and the general public.