Neuroscience. NFL kicks off brain injury research effort.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract From professionals to weekend warriors, many athletes seek unproven stem cell (SC) treatments in an effort to heal injuries nonsurgically and/or to accelerate recovery times after surgery. Among the elite athletes opting for these treatments are high-profile U.S. National Football League (NFL) players. Over the past 5 years, several NFL players have publicly advocated for SC types of treatments and credit them as a major reason they could continue their careers after injuries. In this article, we describe the current problems associated with unproven SC treatments, focusing on treatments without U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval undertaken by NFL players in the past 5 years. Specifically, we highlight the types of treatments obtained and how the clinics advertise specifically to athletes. We also review the intended and unintended consequences of high-profile players receiving and advocating for these types of therapies. Our findings suggest that NFL players increasingly seek out unproven SC therapies to help accelerate recoveries from injuries. While most seem to receive treatment within the United States, several have traveled abroad for therapies unavailable domestically.Stem Cells and Development 12/2014; 23 Suppl 1:60-4. DOI:10.1089/scd.2014.0358 · 4.20 Impact Factor