health and wellness
Retired soccer player Brandi Chastain has agreed to donate her brain to researchers studying concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, The New York Times reports. Chastain — perhaps best known for scoring the winning goal during shootouts in the 1999 World Cup final against China — is the second United States' women's national soccer team member to donate her brain to the research, following Cindy Parlow Cone.
CTE has been found in athletes ranging from football players to boxers, as well as in male soccer players. Heading the ball is thought to cause the destructive subconcessive blows. To date, no female athletes have been found to have CTE, but of the 307 brains studied by Boston University, a mere seven have been from women.
"If there's any information to be gleaned off the study of someone like myself, who has played soccer for 40 years, it feels like my responsibility — but not in a burdensome way," Chastain told The New York Times.
Chastain has said there are "probably a half-dozen times" she has likely had concussions throughout her career.
"There are definitely days when I turn a corner and I'm like, 'Why did I come into this room?'" she said. "I have definitely, from time to time, thought, 'Hmmm, I wonder if this is connected to the past 40 years of playing sports.'"