NFL Health Update: First GE Head Health Challenge winners picked

NFL HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE -- JANUARY 29, 2014

NFL and GE Announce Round One Winners of $20M Head Health Challenges

Sixteen winners were announced in the first stage of the $20 million Head Health Challenge. The winners were selected from more than 400 entries from 27 countries, after having been reviewed and nominated by a panel of leading health care experts in brain research, imaging technologies and advocates for advanced in brain research.

"These studies hold the promise of advancing brain science in important ways," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The health and safety of our players is our top priority, and this challenge extends that commitment to the general population as well. We hope the innovative approaches proposed by these winners will have a lasting impact on the treatment of head injuries."

Each of the winners will receive a $300,000 award to advance their work to speed diagnoses and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury. The NFL and GE will provide mentorship, access to GE researchers and industry thought leaders. Up to six of the winners have the opportunity to win an additional $500,000 in 2015.

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Mississippi Legislature Approves Youth Concussion Bill

The Mississippi Senate unanimously passed HB 48 last week. This legislation would establish measures for treating young athletes suspected of suffering a concussion. The House passed HB 48 earlier this month, and the bill now awaits action by Gov. Phil Bryant. Mississippi is the only state in the country without a youth concussion law. The NFL has supported the adoption of these laws in all states.

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Zack Lystedt awarded Seattle Children's Hospital's Inspirational Award

Zack Lystedt was recently awarded the Seattle Children's Hospital's Inspirational Award. In 2006, Lystedt suffered a brain injury following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. Lystedt, his family and a broad range of medical, business and community partners, including the NFL, lobbied the Washington state legislature for a law to protect young athletes in all sports from returning to play too soon. Lystedt, with his parents by his side, told the crowd his new sport is re-learning how to walk every day, then joked: "Before the injury, all I thought about was sports and girls. Since the injury, nothing at all has changed."

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