The suspension prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ask the US to renew flights to Israel.

Other members of the research team include BGU Ph.D. candidates Itai Weissberg and Ronel Veksler, who developed the new imaging method. Lyn Kamintsky, Rotem Saar-Ashkenazy and Dan Z. Milkovsky conducted the study. Dr. Ilan Shelef, BGU lecturer and a member of the department of medical imaging at Soroka University Medical Center, also contributed.

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"There has been extensive media coverage about the long-term neuropsychiatric consequences of repeated mild traumatic brain injury and specifically sports-related concussive and sub-concussive head impacts to football players," he said. "Until now, we lacked the diagnostic capability to identify mild brain injury early after the trauma."

Ben-Gurion and his family returned permanently to Palestine after World War I following its conquest by the British from the Ottoman Empire.

“In the NFL [National Football League], other professional sports and especially school sports, concern has grown about the long-term neuropsychiatric consequences of repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and specifically sports-related concussive and sub-concussive head impacts,” said Friedman.

The most prominent Israeli military counter-terrorism operations (military campaigns and military operations) carried out against Palestinian militants during 1957 include:

Europe's aviation regulator is also urging airlines not to fly to Tel Aviv.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it "strongly recommends" that airlines should avoid operating to and from Tel Aviv.

EasyJet, Air Canada, and Alitalia also said they had cancelled flights.

The halt in service comes less than a week after Israel began a ground operation in Gaza, and as airlines around the world re-think their flight paths over conflict areas in the wake of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

Study participants included 16 members of Israel’s professional American football team, Black Swarm, as well as 13 track-and-field athletes from BGU who served as controls for the experiment. Friedman explained that the DCE-MRI “generates more detailed brain maps showing brain regions with abnormal vasculature, or a ‘leaky BBB.’”

The new technique, which uses dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) imaging, allows for direct mapping of BBB lesions and quantitative assessment of overall BBB dysfunction after a concussion. The findings can help physicians decide when or if it is safe for an athlete to resume playing sports.

In a presentation for journalists, Dr. Weissberg began with a slide showing headlines from Time magazine and The New York Times:

Dr. Weissberg noted that currently clinicians have no clinically applicable strategy to prevent the development of epilepsy in patients at risk:

Both Delta and United said they had suspended operations in Israel for the near future - beyond the FAA's 24-hr period.

"The drug is not without risks," Dr. Weissberg said. For example, he said that in treating 650 patients following brain injury, they can only prevent epilepsy in 10 patients, while 6 to 18 patients will suffer side effects. "Until more is known about which patients will benefit,” he said, “I am not ready to advocate the universal use of losartan at this time."

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"When the US State Department advises consumers not to travel to Israel, passenger bookings on Delta and United flights go to zero," he told the BBC.

Earlier in the day, Israel's transportation ministry said: "Ben Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize."

The most prominent events related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict which occurred during 1957 include:

“Generally, players return to the game long before the brain’s physical healing is complete, which could exacerbate the possibility of brain damage later in life,” said Friedman, who has long researched the way in which a damaged BBB plays a key role in brain dysfunction and degeneration, and may be an underlying cause of neurodegenerative complications following brain injuries.

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Dr. Weissberg noted that not all of the players showed pathology:

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Ben Gurion

Researchers reported that the group of 29 volunteers was clearly differentiated into an intact-BBB group and a pathological-BBB group. "There was a clear association between football and increased risk for BBB pathology that we couldn’t see before,” Dr. Weissberg said. “In addition, high-BBB permeability was found in six players and in only one athlete from the control group.” The study was published in JAMA Neurology in November 2014.

Mr Boyd said the suspension was unlikely to lead to any significant losses at US airlines.

British Airways said in response to questions on Twitter: "We are closely monitoring the situation. Our flights are currently operating as scheduled."

Even before the announcement, Lufthansa - which includes Swiss, Germanwings and Austrian Airlines - said it had decided to suspend flights to Israel for two days.

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A blow to the brain does not have to be hard to have serious consequences for any players of contact sports such as American football and hockey, but until now there wasn’t a diagnostic capability to assess these injuries immediately after the trauma.

This indicates that repeated, mild concussive events might impact some players differently than others. This level of diagnosis of individual players can provide the basis of more rational decision making on ‘return to play’ for professionals as well amateurs of any age.

Ben-Gurion worked picking oranges in Petah Tikva, and in 1907 he moved to the kibbutzim in Galilee, where he worked as an agricultural laborer and withdrew from politics. The following year, he joined an armed group acting as a watchmen. On 12 April 1909, following an attempted robbery in which an Arab from Kafr Kanna was killed, Ben-Gurion was involved in fighting during which one guard and a farmer from Sejera were killed.[7]

The BBB is composed of proteins, membranes and other materials that protect the brain by preventing many dangerous substances from penetrating. Medical researchers, including Friedman’s group at BGU, are working to find ways to develop drugs that could repair a damaged BBB and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases in some patients.

Researchers at BGU and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheva showed, for the first time, how they were able to identify significant damage to the blood-brain barrier (BBB) of football players following “unreported” trauma or mild concussions. The method uses dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) to detect and localize vascular pathology and BBB breakdown.

All times are IDT (Asia/Jerusalem, GMT+0300) unless otherwise stated

KLM and Air France also said they had suspended flights ahead of the EASA's advisory.