Participate in Research

Why participate in research?

Research is the key that unlocks our ability to prevent and treat the effects of brain trauma. Brain bank research has provided undeniable evidence of how repetitive brain trauma affects behavior, thinking and memory. Clinical research on human volunteers plays an equally critical role in accelerating progress and can provide crucial insights on potential treatments. You can scroll down this page to learn about actively recruiting research studies that you may be eligible for.

First, watch Dr. Robert Stern, director of clinical research at the Boston University CTE Center, explain why you should participate in research.

Imminent Brain Donation
For imminent brain donation matters, please call the 24-hour emergency donation pager at 617.992.0615.

For imminent brain donation matters in Australia, email SPORTS Brain Bank or call the 24-hour line at (02) 8005 6891.

Sign up for the CLF Research Registry

The CLF Research Registry comprises the Brain Donation Registry (BDR) and Clinical Research Registry (CRR). You may sign up for one or both. All adults, with or without a history of sports participation or military service, are eligible to join the Research Registry.

BDR members will receive a personalized brain donor card and informational brochure. CRR members will receive regular communications recruiting them to clinical research studies on concussions and CTE. Click here to join the Research Registry or learn more.


Focused Imaging for the Neurodegenerative Disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
Location: Study sites in the Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA areas
Seeking: Former NFL players between 45 and 74 years old. Participation will include study visits at one of the two study cites for the FIND-CTE evaluation which includes two positron emission tomography (PET) scans; as well as an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center evaluation including neurological, cognitive, self-report mood and behavior exams; advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans; and a collection of blood samples.
Goal: The major goal of the FIND-CTE research project is to develop methods of diagnosing CTE during life, so that interventions can be developed to help those affected by this disease.

Learn more by reviewing the FIND-CTE study flyer.


Health Outreach Program for the Elderly
Location: Greater Boston
Seeking: Male and female subjects who are at least 50 years old, played a minimum of five years of football, MMA, boxing, rugby, soccer, or ice hockey, with two of those years occurring at the collegiate, semi-professional, or professional levels. Participants will have a two-day visit once a year to the BU School of Medicine to participate in a variety of tests, including a neurologic exam, memory and cognitive tests, mood and behavior questionnaires, a blood draw, and an MRI scan.
Goal: The HOPE Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) study is designed to develop methods of diagnosing CTE during life. This is an extension of the Health Outreach Program for the Elderly (HOPE) Study of the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Interested in participating? Contact Alyssa Phelps at or 617.358.6545

Molecular Imaging of Brain Injury and Repair in NFL Players

Location: Baltimore
Seeking: Researchers at Johns Hopkins are seeking former NFL players who played for two or more seasons and whose last season was within the last five years. Participants must be between 25 and 40 years old and have no history of psychiatric disease. Qualified participants will undergo a PET scan, an MRI scan, and an optional lumbar puncture. Those completing the study will receive compensation for time and travel to Baltimore.
Goal: The purpose of this study is to track markers of injury and repair, provide data to analyze concussions, determine the severity of the effects, and determine the overall long term health impact on the players.

Interested in participating? Contact Dr. Jennifer Coughlin at or 443.287.4701.

Light Therapy Study

Light Therapy to Improve Cognition in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Location: Greater Boston
Seeking: Male and female subjects ages 18-75. Must have experienced TBI(s) at least 6 months ago, prior to the screening visit. The TBI(s) may be mild to moderate, associated with car accidents, blast injury in veterans, and work-related or sports related injuries, including repetitive head impacts as may occur in American football, ice hockey, soccer, etc.
Goal: The purpose of this research study is to examine whether light-emitting diode (LED) treatment applied to the head can improve thinking and memory in people who have suffered one or more traumatic brain injuries (TBI). After a TBI, some cells may not fully recover. Applying light to the head, in specific red and near-infrared wavelengths, may help to repair cells that may not be functioning properly after injury.

Interested in participating? Contact the LED Neuromodulation Research Team at 857.364.4029 or click here to learn more.

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