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Neurologic Function across the Lifespan: A Prospective, LONGitudinal, and Translational Study for Former National Football League (NFL-LONG)

Principal Investigators: Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC (UNC-Chapel Hill), Michael McCrea, PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin) & William Meehan III, MD (Boston Children’s Hospital)
Funding Source: National Football League
Dates: 2018- current 

Purpose: The purpose of this 5-year research study is to characterize the association between concussions, sub-concussive exposure, and long-term neurologic health outcomes in former NFL Players.  Ultimately, the goal of this study is to translate the findings from this study into clinical, interventional studies for at risk former NFL players.   

For more information, visit the study website:

NFL-LONG Study video


A General Health Survey of Former Elite Women’s Soccer Players

Principal Investigator: Avinash Chandran, PhD
Dates: 2018-present
Purpose: To develop and administer a General Health Survey instrument, designed with the motivation of capturing a comprehensive registry of physical and mental health status among former elite female athletes.

The Role of Repetitive Head Trauma on Cognitive Decline and Fronto-limbic Functional Connectivity

Principal Investigator: Michael Clark, PhD
Funding Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Dates: 2015-2017
Purpose: The purpose of this research study is to determine if former football players possess characteristics which might increase their risk of cognitive decline (e.g. dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.).

A Prospective, Longitudinal Study of Head Impact Exposure, Neurologic Health and Brain Imaging Biomarkers in Former NCAA Athletes: 15 Year Follow-up of the Original NCAA Concussion Study

Principal Investigator: Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC
Funding Source: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
Dates: 2013-present
Purpose: The purpose is to conduct a two-phase longitudinal study (Phase 1: Survey; Phase 2: Comprehensive evaluations) of head impact exposure, neurologic health and brain imaging biomarkers in former NCAA athletes.

CoupLE-based former Athlete depression Treatment (CLEAT) program: Pilot Study for a Couple-based Intervention for Depression in Former Professional Football Athletes.

Principal Investigator: Don Baucom, PhD
Co-Investigator: JD Defreese, PhD, and Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC
Dates: 2015-2018
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to test the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a novel couple-based intervention for depression in former professional football athletes.

A Study on the Association between Football Exposure and Dementia in Retired Football Players

Principal Investigator: Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC and Stephen Marshall, PhD
Funding Source: National Football League (NFL) Charities
Dates: 2010-2013
Purpose: We propose to study former football players, a population with a high prevalence of exposure to prior Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) and sub-concussive impacts, in order to investigate the association between increased football exposure and recurrent MTBI and neurodegenerative disorders such as cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Supplementation in Retired Professional Football Players

Principal Investigator: Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC
Funding Source: Martek Biosciences Corporation
Dates: 2010-2013
Purpose: The purpose of this research study is to learn if the dietary supplement DHA, a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, affects signs and symptoms associated with cognitive impairment such as changes in brain function, memory and mental status, quality of life, and depression in retired NFL players aged 50 and older.

Hypopituitarism in Retired Football Players

Principal Investigator: Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC and Daniel Kelly, MD
Funding Source: National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment
Dates: 2010-2013
Purpose: The Center is working closely with the Neuro-Endocrine Tumor Center at John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica and Harbor-UCLA Biomedical Research Center to study the relationship between mild traumatic brain injury and pituitary function.  The purpose of this study is to see if retired professional football players who have had concussions have lower than normal amounts of important hormones as a result of possible damage to the pituitary gland.