Two NFL Players to Donate Their Brains for Research

Two NFL stars recently announced their willingness to donate their brains after they die in support for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research. CTE is a degenerative brain disease that occurs in the brains of people who undergo recurring brain trauma.

The two players Steve Weatherford who plays as a punter for New York Giants and the retired Sidney Rice expressed that it would be an honor for their brains to go into research that has affected most athletes and other people who have a history of brain injuries.

Rice a former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, who took an early retirement at 27 years, stated that he had had about ten concussions in his life over his lifetime while Weatherford has only had two. He hopes that with his brain, scientists can compare it with more injured brains and, as a result, can get a cure for the disease.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE has been found to affect many football and ice hockey players, contact sportsmen, soldiers and wrestlers among others. The most unfortunate thing about the condition is that it can only be diagnosed in postmortem after a person has died. However, certain brain scans can give indications of the disease.

The condition has dementia-like symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, aggression, depression, anxiety among others and they appears later in life from when the trauma occurred. A person with the condition can eventually commit suicide or develop Parkinson’s disease or progressive dementia.

 

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