Concussions have been a major topic in the sports world in recent years, especially in the NFL. Because of the long-term damage concussions can do to a person’s brain, sports leagues have been altering equipment and rules to try to limit the chance of players suffering trauma to their brains.
In the NFL in particular, the onset of CTE in retired players is a rather concerning development. There are people and organizations working to try to find a cure for the disease, which can only be accurately diagnosed after death. One such company got a boost recently when Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre invested in it.
Brett Favre’s Hall of Fame career
The Falcons drafted Favre with the 33rd pick in the 1991 NFL draft, and after making a couple of starts with them that season, they traded him to the Packers — with whom he spent the next 16 seasons of his 20-year career before going to the Jets and Vikings.
He completed 6,300 passes in his career, 62% of his attempts, for nearly 72,000 yards and 508 touchdowns. He had a reputation as a gunslinger, which was supported by his 336th interceptions, which is the most in NFL history.
Favre led the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XXXI, and was a three-time league MVP. Favre was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
Playing through concussions during his career
Favre suffered some big hits during his career and became known for playing through injuries — his 297 consecutive starts, which bumps up to 321 when you include the playoffs, remains the NFL record.
It wasn’t just the typical football injuries that Favre fought through. CBS Sports reports that in 2018 Favre said that he believes he suffered a concussion on “probably 90 percent” of the tackles he endured in the NFL.
Even more concerning, Favre says he is “absolutely 100 percent” concerned about his health and well-being in the future. Even though the league has tried to combat the issue of head injuries, Favre doesn’t feel like the NFL has gone far enough.
Brett Favre invests in a possible concussion treatment medication
Favre has expressed concern over the long-term effect of concussions and head injuries, and he’s using his own money to try to do something about it for football players and other athletes.
Fox Business tells us Favre is an investor in pharmaceutical company Prevacus, which is developing Prevasol, a concussion medication that the company hopes may be the first step in being able to prevent CTE.
Favre acknowledges that no matter how good helmet technology gets, concussions will always be a problem in football. “Spending more resources and time on prevention, rather than some type of treatment, is where [the NFL is] lacking.” And that is where Prevacus hopes it can come in to fill that void in preventing the onset of CTE.
A nasal spray, Prevasol works to repair nerve cells and promote cell growth. The drug has entered the first phase of human trials, and Prevacus founder Dr. Jacob Vanlandingham says that it is a “neuro-steroid” that penetrates the blood-brain barrier “relatively quickly.”
He explained that the drug can get to the brain in less than five minutes, and eventually the company hopes “when we get that diagnosis on the field of play, give the drug nasally, get it in the brain quickly.” Dr. Vanlandingham expects the phase one trials to finish this year.