Athletes to Donate Brains for Concussion Study

New research center studies the effects of concussions
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2008 2:52 AM CDT
Former Houston Oilers linebacker John Grimsley, who died earlier this year in an accidental shooting, had brain damage commonly associated with boxers, Boston University's new research center found.    (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle)
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(Newser) – A dozen athletes have agreed to donate their brains to a new research project that will study them for the long-term effects of concussions, the New York Times reports. The Boston University center has already  examined the brains of six deceased NFL players, finding brain damage in five cases. Former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said he hopes donating his brain will help clarify debate.

“I’m not trying to reach up from the grave and get the NFL,” Johnson said. “But any doctor who doesn’t connect concussions with long-term effects should be ashamed of themselves.” Several published studies have linked concussions to cognitive impairment and depression. The 12 athletes, including six NFL players and a former US women’s soccer player, will be examined regularly for any cognitive problems.