Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness Initiatives
|First Health and Wellness Questionnaire (Q1)||Our First Health and Wellness Questionnaire (Q1) was made available to all former NFL players in early 2015 and remains open to participation today. The goal of this questionnaire is to collect information on the total group, or cohort, of former professional NFL players to better understand the health impact of a professional football career.
The questionnaire collects information on demographic characteristics, health conditions, physical function and ability, and mental wellbeing. To date, over 4,100 former players have participated, making the Football Players Health Study the largest study of living former players. This questionnaire is advancing our overall understanding of player health while also providing important baseline data for the development of further research. Former NFL players can participate.
|Health Check-Ins & Lifecourse Questionnaires||Health Check-Ins
Former players will be invited to complete a general health assessment every two years after completing Q1. The questionnaire collects information on demographic characteristics, health conditions, physical function and ability, and mental wellbeing. Two years later they will be invited to do this again after completing the first health check-in. These health check-ins will help us examine how player health changes over time. Former NFL players can participate.
These questionnaires will investigate how additional football-related and other lifestyle risk factors impact health. It includes a variety of questions relating to a player’s health, playing history, habits, as well as their perspectives on their lives and the world. Former player can complete these questionnaires after finishing Q1. Former NFL players can participate.
Family Experiences Managing Football Lives (FEM-FL)
|Summary||FEM-FL is a pilot research initiative designed to study the health and wellness of individuals currently partnered with former or active football players. This remote, web-based study is based on the premise that an NFL career can affect the lives of families, and the physical and mental health of NFL player partners, as well their educational and career trajectories.
Poly-N-Acetyl Glucosamine (PNAG), Vaccination for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
|Principal Investigators||Michael Whalen, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
Colette Cywes-Bentley, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
|Summary||This study proposes to examine the potential role for bacterial products in the brain, such as Poly N-Acetyl Glucosamine (PNAG), to promote neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, in people with concussion or traumatic brain injury. These bacterial fragments may promote brain inflammation and deposition of amyloid beta, a key driver of Alzheimer’s disease, in brain after concussions. If so, therapies such as PNAG, which are directed at bacterial cell membrane fragments, may alleviate cognitive dysfunction in people with one or more concussions and who develop cognitive impairment.
Pain and Mobility
Hydrogel for Intra-Articular Delivery and Preventing Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis (PTOA)
|Principal Investigators||Jeffrey Karp, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Nitin Joshi, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Joerg Ermann, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
|Summary||This study proposes the development of a treatment for post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). The study aims to maximize the joint residence time of a mechanically stable hydrogel platform and to demonstrate that selectively targeting genes through an intra-articular, mechanically stable delivery platform could be an effective approach for blocking the degenerative PTOA process following joint injury. Investigators expect that this research will have a paradigm-shifting impact.|
University of Pittsburgh Brain Health Initiative (BHI) Collaboration
|Summary||The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University is collaborating with the University of Pittsburgh Brain Health Initiative to strengthen and support active projects at both institutions. This partnership will accelerate discoveries about the long-term impact of contact sports and brain trauma on players. Initial collaborative work has aligned several planned BHI assessments with Football Players Health Study In-Person-Assessments (IPA) for future analyses of common measures. The Football Players Health Study team will lead recruitment outreach to former players.