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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Athletes donate brains for concussion study

Posted by on Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 3:52 PM

Sixteen athletes, many of them pros, have agreed to donate their brains to science upon their death as part of a concussion study, reports the Associated Press, and printed in The News & Observer. Former Carolina soccer star Cindy Parlow is among those who've agreed to the study.

Former New England Patriots linebaker Ted Johnson is among the prospective donors. His multiple concussions from 2002 through his 2005 retirement resulted in permanent and degenerative problems with memory and depression. He is quoted in The New York Times:

“I’m not being vindictive. I’m not trying to reach up from the grave and get the N.F.L. But any doctor who doesn’t connect concussions with long-term effects should be ashamed of themselves.”

Several former NFL players have died young. Scientists analyzed their brain tissue and in most, found abnormalities consistent with repetitive brain injury.

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