Study Shows "Reversing Brain Damage" Among NFL Players is Possible With a Targeted Brain-Healthy Protocol
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb. 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Reports of suicide, murder, dementia, memory loss and other problems experienced by players from the National Football League have led one research group – headed by neuroscientist and brain-imaging expert Daniel G. Amen, M.D. -- to study the effects of an interventional strategy designed to improve cognitive function which would "reverse brain damage" from years of playing in contact sports.
The findings, released today, have significant impact on the football community, as well as anyone with brain damage due to concussions, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), toxicity from alcohol and drug use, and other brain traumas, according to Dr. Amen, founder of Amen Clinics, Inc.
"It's one of the most exciting discoveries in medicine today," said Dr. Amen who has published 55 scientifically peer-reviewed studies and three specifically on his work with 135 active and retired NFL players. "I hope this message finds anyone who played contact sports like football, hockey, soccer, boxing so they can find help because their degenerative conditions can be reversed."
The study, titled "Reversing Brain Damage in Former NFL Players" and published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, used brain SPECT images (single photon emission computed tomography) and a standard neuropsychological test to measure the blood flow in the areas of the brain, cognitive functions and proficiency related to mood, memory, language, attention and information speed and accuracy. The athletes followed a "brain-healthy protocol" designed by Dr. Amen that included a revised diet, regular exercise, limited alcohol use, eliminating drug use and cigarette use, getting enough sleep, as well as nutritional supplements, including high dosage of fish oil, a high-potency multi-vitamin, and a group of brain boosting ingredients, such as gingko, vinpocetine, phosphatidylserine, among others.
Within an average of six months, the players were measured again. The results showed significant increases in cognitive scores, blood flow, and the self-reported symptoms of mood, memory, and motivation. Many athletes had greater than 50% increases in percentile scores.
"We demonstrated that even if you have been bad to your brain, on the right program you can often reverse the damage and improve your life," said Dr. Amen who is also a physician, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, New York Times best-selling author.
Daniel G. Amen, M.D. founded Amen Clinics, Inc. (ACI) in 1989 and now has offices in Newport Beach, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and New York City. ACI specializes in the accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment of a variety of conditions. Dr. Amen is a physician, child and adult psychiatrist, and brain-imaging specialist. Dr. Amen has also authored more than 30 books, five New York Times bestsellers and helped raise more than $40 million for public television.
Editor's Note: A copy of the study, brain SPECT images and photography are available upon request.