Former Player To Donate Brain As AFL Probes Link Between Concussion And Brain Damage
Former Australian Football League side Hawthorn captain David Parkin "is prepared to donate his brain to an AFL brain bank when he dies as the league probes the link between concussion and brain damage," according to Jon Ralph of the HERALD SUN. Parkin, who "describes himself as the most concussed man in football, had 13 concussions, the last of which ended his career when he woke 26 hours after the blow." The AFL "has commissioned world-leading research through the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, which is investigating links between concussion and long-term damage, including brain injuries, depression and cognitive function." Through the AFL Players’ Association, it "plans to audit" as many as 5,000 former players, "screen them for long-term issues and plan strategies to help those" such as former Carlton player Greg Williams. Parkin said, "If they need brains to look at, there is not a more concussed brain than mine, so I am happy to give it to them." The AFL and Melbourne's Florey Institute said that they "are looking at all aspects of concussion in football and its effects." The league said that "it is determined to help players" (HERALD SUN, 3/24).