Sportswomen asked to donate brains for research into gender differences in the link between sport and dementia

Megan Rapinoe has been a key voice in the lawsuit against US Soccer (PA Images)
9:44am, Sat 30 Nov 2019
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Sportswomen across the UK are being urged to donate their brains to vital research into gender differences in degenerative neurological diseases such as dementia.

The initiative is being run by Dr Willie Stewart of the Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group, to bring attention to the detrimental effects of sport, domestic violence, accidents and military service on the female brain.

Previous research from Dr Stewart found significant links between male professional football and dementia and alongside PINK Concussions brain charity, he is now looking to investigate gender differences in this area.

Sportswomen can sign up on the PINK Concussions website in order to pledge to donate their brains to the Glasgow Traumatic Brain Injury Archive to investigate the link between sport and brain injury.

“Despite the many advances in understanding outcomes from brain injury we and others have reported, we must recognise that sex differences have not been adequately explored,” said Dr Stewart. “I hope that through this partnership more females will consider registering to donate their brain for research to allow us to take forward these important studies.”

A number of world-famous Athletes, including FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Boot winner Megan Rapinoe, have already pledged to donate their brains to a US-based study titled “Soccer, Head Impacts and Neurological Effects."

It is hoped this research can make the sport safer and prevent detrimental long-lasting effects from repeated headers and collisions.