One of the largest stories around the NFL over the past several years has been the concern over traumatic brain injuries and the long-term impact they have on football players long after retirement.
This was brought to light following the suicides of former NFL players Dave Duerson and Junior Seau as well as the blockbuster hit movie Concussion starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who is largely credited with finding scientific evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in deceased football players.
As the NFL continues to push back against the idea that its sport is too violent for the human body, the scientific community has been attempting to prevent CTE from remaining widespread.
That now includes United Neuroscience, Inc., a biotech company that focuses on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, CTE and other neurological diseases. According to PR Newswire, the company now plans to develop a vaccine to prevent CTE.
“United Neuroscience, Inc. (UNS) today announced plans for the development of a vaccine for the prevention of chronic traumatic encephalopathy,” the report read. “Currently in studies in animal models of CTE, UNS’s synthetic peptide vaccine is designed to train the body to generate antibodies toward aggregated forms of an abnormal protein called tau.”
The plan is to transition from animal studies to clinical trials on humans next year.
“Our CTE program opportunity is significant and reflects our commitment to transforming the lives of patients and the families affected by neurodegenerative diseases. We look forward to advancing this vaccine candidate,” CEO of UNS, Mei Mei Hu, said in a statement.
We’re not going to pretend to be scientists here. But if this somehow helps prevent CTE and other brain-related trauma, we’re all for it.
It would also be a pretty stunning development in the scientific field and could have wide-ranging ramifications when it comes to other neurological diseases.