Brandi Chastain Donating Brain

Soccer legend will donate her brain for concussion research

Brandi Chastain, the famous soccer player who is known for her game winning goal in the 1999 Women's World Cup, has pledged to donate her brain to concussion research after she dies. Most people recover quickly from concussions, but others may have long term problems from getting striked too hard in the head. 47 year old Chastain announced her decision on Thursday March 10, 2016 to donate her brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation. After her death, her brain will be given to VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, which is a joint with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University School of Medicine.

"It is really about: How I can help impact soccer beyond scoring a goal in 1999 in the World Cup final. Can I do something more to leave soccer in a better place than it was when I began this wonderful journey with this game?" Said Chastain, according to Newsela. She is looking to help make a difference in soccer and help find the cure for concussions.

Researchers are studying the human brain and spinal cord tissues after death and are trying to find the diagnosis for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. (CTE) This is caused by a blow or multiple blows to the head, this can progress to brain decaying, which causes memory loss, confusion, emotional issues, and other lifelong effects.

Dr. Ann McKee, who works at the Brain Bank, said that Chastain's pledge to donate her brain could really make an impact on concussion research. Studying her brain, could lead to a lot of knowledge about women's brain's. Chastian's goal from donating her brain is to make the game safer and the help soccer players from getting concussions, and if they do, to cure them easily. Today Chastain coaches kid's soccer. She also works with the Concussion Legacy Foundation, to help make soccer more safe, this including limiting head balls for younger plays. Chastain is not definitely sure she has had concussions, but thinks that she has had 2 or more. Concussions from heading the ball has most likely harmed her brain which could have made long or short term effects on her. Before there was much known about concussions, you would just "shake it off" and get back to playing, but today you must rest and sit out of sports until your head is well enough to get back into the game.

After Chastain had told her son about donating her brain after she dies she said to him, " Well, I won't need it anymore, so I might as well put it to good use."