Where the story ends is uncertain because nobody has all the answers concerning the long-term effects of concussions.
However, the potentially groundbreaking drug could help change that.
Prevacus is being developed by Jake VanLandingham, a neuroscientist and a former member of the FSU Medical School.
“I think you can reduce the development of long-term effects by 80 percent if you can treat a concussion for the first 14 days,” said VanLandingham, 44, who played football and basketball at Florida High.
“I believe we can get our youth back on the field and in the classroom much quicker by treating their concussion with our drug. The drug will prevent post-concussion syndrome and hopefully reduce the incidents of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Currently, there are no drugs available for concussion treatment – just rehabilitation, rest and some luck since brain trauma can impact people differently.
Prevacus is intended to be administered nasally (in a powder form) within minutes after diagnosis of a brain injury. It is designed to treat concussions at the molecular level to trigger the reduction of inflammation, swelling and oxidative stress.
VanLandingham hopes Prevacus is on the market in three to four years. He said his company has received substantial funding, in the millions, from local and national sources.
High-profile athletes such as Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre are involved and understand firsthand the urgency around brain injuries in football.
Favre suffered a concussion on the last play of his 20-year NFL career in 2010.
The 48-year-old is deeply concerned about irreversible brain damage brought on by years of vicious sacks and hits.
A study out of Boston University last year found 110 out of 111 deceased NFL football players had the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).