NFL $30 Million to NIH Foundation May Benefit Joint and Pain Research

October 1, 2012

With its largest grant ever, the National Football League funds a new sportsmedicine research program. Joint disease and pain are topics under discussion.

Chronic joint disease and the transition from acute to chronic pain are among the subjects under consideration for a new Sports and Health Research Program, to be conducted in collaboration with National Institutes of Health Researchers under a $30 million grant from the National Football League (NFL).

The largest philanthropic gift in the NFL's 92-year history, the grant to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health(FNIH)  is aimed at new insights into conditions that affect athletes, but should also benefit members of the military and the general public, said NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell.

The chief focus of attention on the grant has been on research into head injury, in particular into links between traumatic brain injury and later neurodegenerative disease. The grant and its focus on brain damage comes following on an agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association last year, according to an article in the Washington Post.

However, chronic degenerative joint disease, the transition from acute to chronic pain, and issues related to hydration are other topics under discussion for the new research program. The FNIH hopes to attract other donors to the collaboration, including other sports organizations.