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New health screenings for former NFL players

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NEW YORK -

Charlie Batch experienced concussions when he was a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's preparing for life after football and wants a long-term game plan for his health.

"Concussions are always going to be a concern. And this is something that you really don't just know how your body is going to react 10, 15 years down the road," Batch said.

Batch is signing up for a new program called "The Trust" which is part of a collective bargaining agreement with the NFL. Retired players can sign up for physical and neurological evaluations.

"There are certainly studies out there to suggest that these players may be at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease and even ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. So, with that certainly comes cognitive declines and motor declines," said Dr. Jay Alberts, the director of the Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic and two other sites hope to identify potential brain and health problems so former players can receive treatment earlier.

Batch says The Trust is long overdue.

"If we can help identify what some of those problems may be earlier on we may be able to solve some of those problems early on," Batch said.

The program is free. Anyone who has played at least two seasons can join the roster.

The players union received $22 million from the league to set up The Trust. The program will also provide financial and career advice.

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