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Canadian Concussion Centre joins the Concussion Legacy Foundation Global Brain Bank to advance CTE research in Canada
(Toronto) The Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF) is announcing today that the Canadian Concussion Centre (CCC) will become the sixth member of the CLF Global Brain Bank, an international collaboration of researchers studying chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the United States, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The new partnership will accelerate the pace of CTE research in Canada and create new collaboration opportunities for Canadian researchers to understand how to diagnosis and treat CTE.
“As a former CFL player, I am at risk for CTE, as are my teammates,” said CLF Canada Executive Director Tim Fleiszer. “We appreciate the commitment of the CCC team to CTE research, and we look forward to collaborating to ensure they can continue to make breakthroughs in our understanding of CTE and other long-term consequences related to brain trauma.”
CTE has been diagnosed in several Canadian athletes including Ralph Backstrom, Steve Montador, and Carlton (Cookie) Gilchrist. The brain bank research at the CCC is led by internationally renowned neuropathologist Dr. Gabor Kovacs, Professor at the University of Toronto, and related clinical research is led by Dr. Carmela Tartaglia, associate professor at the University of Toronto. The CCC, led by Dr. Charles Tator, is based at the Krembil Brain Institute, which is located at the Toronto Western Hospital, part of University Health Network.
The CCC is excited to partner with the CLF to pursue a better understanding of the long-term consequences of concussion and find ways to diagnose and eventually treat concussions so as to prevent neurodegeneration.
The CLF Global Brain Bank model is built on CLF’s successful 15-year collaboration with the UNITE Brain Bank at the Boston University CTE Center, led by Dr. Ann McKee. Dr. McKee has now studied more than 1,350 brain donors and identified the first case of CTE in ice hockey, soccer, and Canadian football.
Other CLF Global Brain Bank collaborators include the Australian Sports Brain Bank, the Biobank for Aging Studies at the University of São Paulo, the New Zealand Sports Human Brain Bank at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research, and the Concussion Legacy Project at the Oxford Brain Bank.
CLF Canada will support the CCC’s research efforts. To date, 900 Canadian athletes and veterans have pledged to donate their brain to the CLF Brain Donation Registry. Anyone interested in contributing to research, with or without a history of concussion or repetitive head trauma, is encouraged to take the pledge at PledgeMyBrain.org.
The announcement coincides with the CCC’s 10th Annual Concussion Symposium on April 21, 2023, where Dr. Kovacs will be presenting his research and Dr. Ann McKee will present her research virtually.