A legend of the National Football League (NFL) recently announced his support for a new brain injury research facility that will bear his name. Several news outlets are reporting that Joe Namath, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985, is lending his name to a Florida treatment center for brain injury research. He is quoted as saying, “My suffering has come from losing some friends, has come from watching some guys deteriorate over the years, guys that have had traumatic brain injuries, teammates of mine.”
Namath played football for much of his adult life, first as a quarterback at the University of Alabama. He was drafted to the New York Jets in 1965, earning a record breaking salary for the time. Namath played in the inaugural game of Monday Night Football and worked his way to one Super Bowl win before retiring from the game in 1978. Since that time, he’s been able to successfully stretch his talents in a number of directions, as an actor and a business owner. In January, he publicly spoke to the press about his problems with brain injury and the effects of football on the body.
NFL Brain Injury Settlement
The NFL continues to work towards the settlement of a class action suit brought by former players and families of former players. A federal judge approved preliminary settlement terms, but there is still a significant level of disagreement among the plaintiffs. The settlement proposition includes:
Monetary compensation for certain neurological diseases Ongoing treatment options
Compensation for the families of some deceased players, when the time death occurred within a certain time frame Payment of Attorney’s Fees
Innovative Treatment Option
Upon announcing his affiliation with the brain injury treatment center, Namath also spoke about an innovative new treatment that he is currently undergoing for his own brain injury health issues called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. According to the Mayo Clinic, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the process of inhaling pure oxygen while seated in a pressurized environment. It is commonly used to treat wounds that are not healing correctly and some serious infections.
The patient is reportedly seated inside of an oxygen therapy room for a specified amount of time. The air pressure is increased to a level that s three times normal levels. This allows the lungs to take in significantly more oxygen than normal, which promotes healing through the release of stem cells.
Namath announced that a clinical trial of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is on the fast track for the brain injury treatment center. Dr. Barry Miskin of the Joe Namath explained that he hopes to secure 100 trial participants in his quest to make the treatment a wide spread standard in brain injury treatment.
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