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NFL Linebacker Receives AAN’s Public Leadership in Neurology Award

CHICAGO – The American Academy of Neurology and the AAN Foundation have announced that NFL football player and stroke survivor Tedy Bruschi is the recipient of the 2008 Public Leadership in Neurology Award. He is being recognized for his strong commitment to raising awareness to battle stroke, the number one cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States. The Public Leadership in Neurology Award honors an individual or group outside of the medical profession. Honorees are known for advancing public understanding and awareness of neurologic disease, being effective advocates for neuroscience research, and making significant contributions to improve patient care and quality of life. Bruschi (pronounced "BREW-ski") will accept the award at the American Academy of Neurology and American Academy of Neurology Foundation Awards Luncheon, April 16, 2008, at the McCormick Place West Convention Center in Chicago. Bruschi was a star defensive end for the University of Arizona, where he tied the NCAA Division 1-A record of 52 quarterback sacks. He was drafted in 1996 by the New England Patriots. The linebacker has played in five Super Bowls, three of which were won by the Patriots. Days after playing in the 2005 Pro Bowl, he suffered a mild stroke, and was diagnosed with a patent foramen ovale. He was partially paralyzed, and spent several months in rehabilitation, anticipating he would be forced to sit out the 2005 season. But in October, he received clearance from his physicians and played in the remaining games of the season save the last one. His courage and tenacity led him to be named one of two NFL Comeback Players of 2005. His teammates voted him as a defensive captain for their undefeated 2007 season. He recently re-signed with the Patriots for a multi-year contract. Bruschi's autobiography, Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery, and My Return to the NFL, was published in 2007. He has partnered with the American Heart Association to establish Tedy's Team, a foundation dedicated to raising funds for stroke research.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 21,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit

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