LAS VEGAS, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health announced today that it will provide certain neurological assessments in connection with the Premier Boxing Champions series, created for television by Haymon Boxing. Further, Haymon Boxing will make a significant commitment to the Cleveland Clinic to be used by the Center to advance the understanding of brain injuries in former and active professional fighters exposed to head trauma.
"Research has shown that recurrent blows to the head may result in permanent brain damage in some fighters," said Charles Bernick, M.D., Associate Medical Director at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and principal investigator on the study. "Through this relationship with boxing, we hope to improve the safety of the next generation of fighters through early brain health assessments."
The professional fighters' study, which launched in April 2011, is focused on developing methods to detect the earliest and most subtle signs of brain injury in those exposed to head trauma, as well as determining which individuals may be more likely to develop chronic neurological disorders. While it is still in the early stages, 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.
"Fighter safety and brain health must be a top priority for the sport of boxing, and I am grateful to the Cleveland Clinic for its leadership in this important initiative," said Danny Garcia, who recently fought Lamont Peterson in a PBC on NBC main event televised on NBC April 11, 2015.
"With all the recent advances in neurological care, boxers can see a huge benefit from getting the evaluations and treatments they need and deserve. Cleveland Clinic will improve the quality of the sport, the safety of the athletes and preserve the future of boxing," Mr. Garcia continued.
The next PBC event will take place on Spike TV on Friday April 24, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. EDT live from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL.
To date, the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study has enrolled nearly 500 active and retired fighters. Participation is completely voluntary, and fighters in the study receive free, ongoing assessments of their brain health and brain function, including MRI scans. Individual tests will be repeated annually for at least four years.
To assist in the funding of the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, Haymon Boxing made a significant commitment to Cleveland Clinic to augment those made by other leading combat sports companies. These funds will help provide the necessary support to continue the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study at the Cleveland Clinic, with future plans to publish and advocate about the importance of this research to the sport.
About the 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 http://www.clevelandclinic.org/brainhealth.
SOURCE Cleveland Clinic