Nevada Athletic Commission Implements Brain Health Testing Policy for Fighters

By Mike Sloan Apr 27, 2016
The Nevada Athletic Commission will implement new testing protocols in an effort to curtail head injuries in combat sports, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

NAC officials announced its new fighter safety requirements on Tuesday during a press conference in Washington, D.C.

NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett said that the commission is excited to be implementing a new policy that will require all licensed professional fighters -- boxers, kickboxers and mixed martial artists -- to undergo regular brain health testing. Bennett stated that the continuous testing won’t cost the fighters any money and that the exams will only take about 15 minutes to complete.

Dr. Charles Bernick, associate director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, said that the fighters will be required to undergo the exams using the Cleveland Clinic C3 testing tool.

“We’re extremely pleased by the commission’s decision to require regular brain health testing using the C3 app in Nevada, which was a decision influenced largely by data collected from the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study,” Bernick said in a statement.

The announcement revealed that the testing might be able to use positron emission tomography (PET) scans to detect protein tau, which builds up when brain tissue progressively degenerates. Bernick believes it could be involved in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE.

The new testing procedures likely won’t go into effect until June or July, according to the Review-Journal report. Unknown at present is how frequently the fighters will have to undergo the testing, and where the tests will fall in relation to their scheduled fights.


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