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10-12-2010, 06:45 PM
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300 athletes have agreed to annual testing and to donate their brains at death to continue the study, especially long term, of concussions. One thing they are looking for is signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Including Keith Primeau.

The athlete registry is the work of the university's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, a collaborative venture between BU Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute that's addressing what it calls the “concussion crisis” in sports. The group has been at the forefront of research into head trauma in sports and received a $1-million gift from the NFL, which it has pushed for better treatment of concussions.
Ideally, Nowinski said the centre 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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