Brandi Chastain may be retired from soccer, but she still cares about the game and its players.
Chastain, a member of the 1999 World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national soccer team known for being aggresive on headers, has decided to donate her brain for scientific study upon her death.
While she is completely healthy, she plans on donating her brain in the future so that it can be examined for signs of trauma. Many of the studies around repeated brain trauma in sports currently circles around football, not so much soccer, and even less for women’s soccer.
Chastain’s donation could provide valuable information whether or not she developed the proteins that can lead to CTE.
“Brandi Chastain’s decision to donate her brain to further research is a powerful and courageous act that will ultimately improve the future health of female athletes, military veterans and other women who experience repetitive brain trauma,” said Ann McKee, a professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University, in a statement released by the foundation. “We currently know so little about how gender influences outcome after trauma; her pledge marks an important step to expand our knowledge in this critical area.”
Studies do show than females are more easily concussed than males. However scientists haven’t yet uncovered the long term effects of concussions in women and girls.
Therefore it makes Chastain’s decision even more important for women athletes everywhere.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports