The University of Pittsburgh National Sports Brain Bank

Posted on May 24, 2023

We are excited to finally announce the official launch of the University of Pittsburgh National Sports Brain Bank. On Thursday, May 18th we celebrated the official launch of the groundbreaking initiative that was made possible by a generous lead grant from our client, the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research.

The NSBB is a long-term observational study and brain donation registry for former contact sport participants. “Athletes who participate in contact sports such as football, soccer, boxing, wrestling, ice hockey and many others may have experienced one or more concussions or mild traumatic brain injury events during their career. This exposure is associated with an increased risk of cognitive and psychiatric syndromes later in life and the development of a neurodegenerative disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).” (

What sets the NSBB apart is that it is one of the largest brain banks in the nation, housing an impressive collection of over 2,000 brains. As participants, we will undergo meticulous screening and lifelong monitoring, allowing researchers to establish a comprehensive understanding of our health trajectory. This invaluable data will enable them to detect early signs of neurodegenerative challenges and explore potential treatment avenues.

In addition to the foundation’s support, our clients Merril Hoge and Jerome Bettis have decided to participate in this initiative standing alongside representatives from the University as the inaugural participants of the NSBB. Led by the esteemed Drs. Julia Kofler and Oscar Lopez, co-directors of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the brain bank holds the promise of transforming the future of sports and, more importantly, safeguarding the health of our children and future generations. 

Their decision to participate in this initiative is part of their strong commitment to help advance scientific knowledge and find cures for neurodegenerative diseases, improve treatment options, and gain further insights into conditions like CTE. By donating their brains to the National Sports Brain Bank at the University of Pittsburgh, they’re honoring the wise words of Coach Noll, who urged his players to align themselves with credible people and organizations. Just as the Steelers have demonstrated unwavering integrity, so too does the University of Pittsburgh.

Merril and Jerome want to continue to spread awareness and encourage others to join them  in supporting the National Sports Brain Bank. There are many opportunities to participate and learn more about the NSBB. 

Together, we can make a tangible difference by advancing vital research, protecting the well-being of athletes, and nurturing a future where neurodegenerative diseases are conquered. Join us in this important mission!

Visit to get involved!

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