Pat Graham penned a story for the AP today about the Sports Legacy Institute and its ongoing contribution to the “concussion crisis” we are facing.
Interviewed in the story were various professional sports athletes, as well as Chris Nowinski the Director of the SLI. The point of the story was to shed light on the fact the 300+ people are dedicating their “brains” to the research of it all. Not only will these people donate their brains after a long life, they are undergoing annual testing for data collection.
Ideally, Nowinski said the center would like to sign up 50 athletes from each sport. Most of the volunteers are men, but there are women in the registry including soccer player Cindy Parlow and swimmer Jenny Thompson.
Athletes who are enrolled in the registry take a medical history every year, perform cognitive tests and answer an array of questions, such as if they’ve been dealing with bouts of depression. It’s a way to establish a medical baseline, helping researchers watch for signs of CTE, which can eventually lead to dementia.
“We have no idea how much head trauma is necessary to produce (CTE),” said Dr. Robert Cantu, a clinical professor of neurosurgery and co-founder of the institute. “We just know those who play sports and who have higher amounts of head trauma have a higher incident of it. … This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of studying this problem.”
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