NFL Charities is awarding more than $1.5 million in grants to 15 institutions nationwide, including the University at Buffalo, for sports-related research.
Nearly two-thirds of the money is earmarked for concussion prevention and treatment. UB is using its $100,000 grant to further develop a standardized exercise test for athletes who have experienced concussions. Dr. John Leddy of UB's Concussion Management Clinic compares their test to a stress test for the heart, only this one is for the brain.
"We tried to identify the level where somebody can get to. If it's full exertion, we define them as fully recovered as long as they don't have symptoms. Or if they do get symptoms, we stop the test. But that gives us good information about how much they've recovered and allows us to treat them," Leddy said.
Leddy said this test was used to help former Buffalo Sabres player Tim Connolly recover from his severe concussion several years ago.
The National Football League has been paying much closer attention to the long-term consquences of head injuries in recent years.