A Global Mission
The mission of the Concussion Legacy Foundation Global Brain Bank is to accelerate research by collaborating with leading scientists at brain banks around the globe to understand, prevent, treat, and eventually cure CTE and other consequences of sports-related brain trauma.
The First Athlete Brain Bank
Prior to 2008, there were no academic research centers focused on CTE. That year, CLF partnered with leading experts in neurodegenerative disease pathology at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Boston University (BU) in 2008 to create the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, now the most successful athlete brain donation program in the world. While the scientists independently lead the research, CLF leads outreach, recruiting, and education efforts. Prior to 2008, only 45 cases of CTE had been diagnosed worldwide since 1928. Since then, more than 500 brains have been donated to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, leading to 300 new CTE cases and redefining our understanding of CTE.
CTE is a global problem, but due to a lack of brain tissue, few researchers outside the United States can study CTE, creating a lack of awareness that CTE exists outside the U.S. CTE has been diagnosed in athletes with a history of playing global sports such a football (soccer), rugby, and ice hockey, and in countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Brazil. The sheer number of CTE cases diagnosed in the U.S. in the last decade has surprised researchers and raised the concern that CTE is far more prevalent in contact sports than once thought. We urgently need answers, and the Concussion Legacy Foundation Global Brain Bank will activate scientists from every corner of the globe in the fight against CTE.
Brain donation is critical to understanding how to treat CTE in living athletes, and to learning how to prevent CTE in the next generation. More than 3,000 people have pledged their brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for research on concussions and CTE. Join famous athletes like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brandi Chastain, Hayley Wickenheiser, Elana Meyers Taylor, Ian Roberts, Peter FitzSimons, Colin Scotts and Nick Buoniconti, and leave your legacy by making the #MyLegacyPledge and signing up to donate your brain.
Related: read answers to frequently asked questions about the Concussion Legacy Foundation Global Brain Bank on our FAQ page.
Some of the world’s greatest brain trauma researchers are collaborating to discover a cure for CTE, a disease that affects athletes and military veterans all over the world.
In 2017, American Pro Football Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti, who is living with symptoms of CTE, pledged his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation. “This is not easy, it’s difficult. I’m not half the man I used to be. I don’t [pledge my brain] for myself. I do it for the thousands of others who will follow me,” said Buoniconti. Read more.