The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest in Toronto has worked a deal with the National Hockey League Alumni Association to investigate for a link to long-term brain damage. The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle took a quick look at what this could mean;
Did their playing careers cause long-term damage? Are they more at risk of developing symptoms such as dementia because of the blows to the head they suffered on the ice?
Using neurocognitive testing and advanced imaging techniques the hope is to discover a link (if it exists) to repeated head trauma and early dementia and other issues such as CTE;
“There are certainly some of our members that have early onset [of the disease]. Whether that’s just the typical aging process or they’re one of the population that this struck, we really don’t know.”
The alumni association hopes the study can help current and future players as well by letting the league know exactly what the risks involved are.
“If it does come out that it’s concussions [causing health issues] then I think the NHL would definitely act on it,” Napier said. “But we don’t know. Let’s just find out first and then you can take steps later.”