Wanted: athletes’ battered brains

Tissue bank of deceased athletes to help with Alzheimer's research

Former pro wrestler Chris Nowinski is in a zombie-like pursuit of brains, particularly those of other professional athletes who have sustained head injuries. Nowinski, whom Maclean’s reported on last year, is working with Boston University on gathering brain-tissue samples. Specifically his Sports Legacy program seeks to build a tissue bank of deceased athletes who have suffered concussions and other brain injuries to explore possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease in athletes, as well as depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as “punch-drunk syndrome.” It was difficult at first, Nowinski says, to approach athletes’ widows, but as word spreads of the research program, more wives want a positive spin-off from their family tragedies.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The concussion time bomb (previous Maclean’s article)

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