NFL group, company teaming up for brain drug test

A potential treatment for traumatic brain injuries may be tested

in retired professional football players, who are the focus of

concern over blows to the head.

Neuralstem, Inc., of Rockville, Md., said Wednesday it is

working with the National Football League Alumni Association to

study the feasibility of such a test, which would need government

approval. It would involve a drug that’s now in an early human

trial for treating depression. In animal studies, the drug appeared

to stimulate creation of brain cells.

Concern has mounted about brain injuries and disease in former

NFL players, driven in part by some high-profile suicides.

Thousands of former players are suing the league and its teams,

saying that for years the NFL did not do enough to protect players

from concussions.