UFC® EXTENDS COMMITMENT TO CLEVELAND CLINIC AND THE PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS BRAIN HEALTH STUDY
Las Vegas – UFC® today announced a five-year extension of its partnership with Cleveland Clinic, and its support of the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study. The multi-year commitment and one million dollar contribution to the clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas where the study is conducted, makes UFC the largest combat sport contributor to the study.
“Research and awareness are key in setting new standards for athlete health and safety,” UFC Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein said. “UFC is always looking for opportunities to invest in industry-leading health and wellness programs and providing resources to develop its athletes inside and outside the Octagon.”
“We have learned quite a bit in the first four years of the study about how repetitive head trauma affects the brain and how we can detect accumulating injury,” Charles Bernick, M.D., Associate Medical Director at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and principal investigator of the study said. “The involvement of the fighting community and organizations like UFC will only help us better understand the field and protect our athletes. Their support has helped sustain the infrastructure of this very large study and will allow us to follow the participants over longer periods of time and develop ways to improve safety in combat sports, along with others exposed to repetitive head trauma.”
Established in 2011, the Professional Fighters Brain Health study is focused on developing methods to detect the earliest and most subtle signs of brain injury in athletes exposed to head trauma, as well as determining which individuals may be more likely to develop chronic neurological disorders. Now in its fifth year, researchers are confident the findings will benefit the safety and health of professional fighters as well as those exposed to repetitive head trauma in other sports and activities.
UFC’s commitment to aid in the funding of the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study is provided in conjunction with other leading combat sports organizations. These funds will help provide the necessary support to continue the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study at Cleveland Clinic, with future plans to publish and advocate about the importance of this research to the sport.
To date, the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study has enrolled nearly 600 active and retired athletes. Participation is voluntary, and fighters in the study receive free, ongoing assessments of their brain health and function, including MRI scans. Individual tests will be repeated annually for a minimum of four years.
About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 90 northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 18 full-service family health centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2014, there were 5.9 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 152,500 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and 147 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us atwww.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.
About Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health provides state-of-the-art care for cognitive disorders and for the family members of those who suffer from them. The physicians and staff at the Center for Brain Health continuously work towards the development of early diagnosis and the advancement of knowledge concerning mild cognitive disorders, which could one day delay or prevent their onset. Patients receive expert diagnosis and treatment at the Center for Brain Health, which offers a multidisciplinary patient-focused approach to diagnosis and treatment, promoting collaboration across all care providers, offering patients a complete continuum of care and infusing education and research into all that it does. The facility, designed by Frank Gehry, houses clinical space, a diagnostic center, neuroimaging rooms, physician offices, laboratories devoted to clinical research and the Keep Memory Alive Event Center. For more information, visit clevelandclinic.org/brainhealth.
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