Thanks to Donor Support, Professional Athletes Brain Health Study Marks Its 10th Anniversary
Thanks to Donor Support, Professional Athletes Brain Health Study Marks Its 10th Anniversary

The Professional Athletes Brain Health Study (PABHS) is a landmark longitudinal study of athletes exposed to repeated head impacts (RHI). Since the first participant was enrolled in 2011, the PABHS has become an international effort led by Cleveland Clinic that brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists to study the neurological effects of RHI over the lifespan of professional athletes.

2011 to 2021 Milestones: link to infographic.

Role of Philanthropy
Given that the PABHS is focused on the long-term effects of RHI, the longer an athlete is followed, the more longitudinal — and therefore more valuable — the information collected during that individual’s annual study visits.

A study of this magnitude requires significant resources that the Cleveland Clinic cannot bear on its own. Thus, since its inception in 2011, the PABHS has largely relied on philanthropic donations, many of which have come from the combat sports industry.

UFC has been a valued supporter of the study from the beginning, providing strategic guidance on the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), referring its athletes for participation, as well as providing funding. In February 2016, following a five-year, $1 million donation, UFC became the study’s largest financial contributor in combat sports. In 2021, UFC is reinvesting in its commitment to brain health with another five-year, $1 million donation.

“UFC is proud to continue its support of both Cleveland Clinic and the Professional Athletes Brain Health Study. We have supported this study since its inception, and we take pride in standing at the forefront of helping set new standards for athlete health and safety in all sports,” says UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein.

On behalf of athletes everywhere from the pros to the weekend warriors, Cleveland Clinic thanks UFC for its commitment to brain health.

Photo: UFC Chief Operating Office Lawrence Epstein, left, and Mixed Martial Artist Forest Griffin at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic.

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