Ahead of testifying Tuesday in front of the Congressional traumatic brain injury task force, two-time Olympic gold medalist and 1999 World Cup Champion Briana Scurry told The Washington Post she intends to donate her brain to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research.
Scurry joins former teammates Brandi Chastain, Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe in their pledge to donate their brains for the sake of studying CTE, a degenerative brain disease that is primarily found in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma.
Soccer star Brandi Chastain pledges to donate her brain to CTE research for women
“I think it’s important that more doctors have female brains to look at to see the similarities and differences and progression of things,” Scurry said. “Obviously, I think my brain could be useful.”
Scurry suffered a career-ending concussion in 2010, as well as two more concussions between 2006 and 2008, and has been an advocate for traumatic brain injuries ever since.
“I think it’s really alarming, actually,” Scurry said. “People will say, ‘Of course you will find CTE in football players who people knew had issues emotionally or possibly have issues with their brains.’ My thought about that is … out of 100-and-something of the brains they had examined, 90-something of them had CTE present. That is a really high number. I understand it’s a very specific and very limited group that they’re pulling from, but jeez. Ninety-something out of 100-something? That’s a lot. Something needs to be known.
“This CTE stuff is very, very important. It gets a lot of headlines because there are a lot of people looking at it.”
The former goalkeeper adds that there are plenty of head injuries along the concussion spectrum that are “worthy of understanding, awareness and attention, as well.” She also said her brain could be useful for research in others areas, considering how several cognitive disorders run in her family.
“My situation is interesting in the fact that I have Alzheimer’s in my family,” Scurry said. “My mom had Alzheimer’s. My grandmother had dementia.”