Health and Fitness

Wrestler Kevin Nash, soccer icon Brandi Chastain offers brain as gift for science research

Professional wrestler Kevin Nash and soccer legend Brandi Chastain have openly stated that they will offer their brains, respectively, as gifts for Science research on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE.

CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. CTE has been known to affect boxers since the 1920s.

No cure has yet been formulated to address such kind of disease and scientist wants more time to study such disease. Expert recommends that athletes or anyone struck with CTE to take care of themselves to avoid further developing other injuries.

Kevin Nash, who is a WWE Hall of Famer, told ESPN that he would donate his brain along with spinal cord immediately after his death as his contribution to the study of CTE. The 56-year old wrestler, who was also known as “Diesel,” stated that he will make his donation to the CTE Center at Boston University and Concussion Legacy Foundation run by former WWE’s Chris Nowinski.

“Chris Nowinski started the program, and I’ve had several concussions throughout my life and had scans done and stuff and knew that somewhere down the line, I’ve already had short-term memory problems. I decided to go ahead. The only way you can diagnose this is after you’re dead. I went ahead and gave my spinal cord and my brain to the study, and I carry a card in my wallet that my brain and spine goes to them. It’s in my will. Of course, my wife’s aware of it,” Nash said.

On the other hand, CNN reports that World Cup legend Brandi Chastain has also signified to donate her brains also to Boston University. Chastain as quoted in a statement that she hoped her donation could bring a changer to the sport and help prevent players from getting the said disease.

“I hope my experience in soccer and what I am able to give back helps put soccer in a better place than it was when I started. Having played soccer since I was little, I can’t even attempt a guess at how many times I’ve headed the ball. It’s a significant number. It’s scary to think about all the heading and potential concussions that were never diagnosed in my life, but it’s better to know,” Chastain added.

After retiring from the game of soccer, Chastain is married and is also coaching soccer at her alma mater at Santa Clara University.

In a study conducted in 2013, it showed that players who frequently headed the ball suffered brain abnormalities similar to those who suffer concussions. The study also identified that soccer players heads the ball 12 times in a game with a ball speed of 50 mph or faster.

Doing heading in a soccer game has appealed much of the youth today and is also responsible for nearly a third of all concussions with female athletes having the higher risk.

Photo Courtesy: Ming/Flickr

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