Category Archives: Outside U.S.

Table of Contents from the February Issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter

February 2020, Vol. 8, No. 8

Timely reporting on developments and legal strategies at the intersection of sports and concussions—articles that benefit practicing attorneys who may be pursuing a claim or defending a client.

Table of Contents

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Concussion Legacy Foundation Global Brain Bank Partners with University of Auckland in New Zealand

Leaders from the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF) visited New Zealand this week to announce that the University of Auckland has joined the CLF Global Brain Bank, a network of academic research centers that collaborate with CLF to study Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and other effects of sports-related brain trauma.

The newly launched New Zealand Sports Human Brain Bank Initiative will be part of the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research, led by internationally recognized neuroscientist, Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Faull and the impressive team at the University of Auckland Center for Brain Research are joining the fight against CTE,” said Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. “It is fast becoming clear CTE is a global problem, and CLF is committed to recruiting top scientists to collaborate for a cure.”

The Centre for Brain Research was established in 2009 and is home to New Zealand’s only human brain bank. The new extension to the brain bank will collect from donors who have played contact sports like rugby, boxing, soccer, and others, whether or not they have experienced a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI), to scientifically research how head impacts in sports influence brain health and brain disease.

“With a large focus on contact sports in our culture, it’s important that New Zealand is part of this global conversation and that our sports people are included and have access to relevant research results,” said Sir Richard Faull.

The CLF Global Brain Bank was launched in March 2018 with the Australian Sports Brain Bank at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. In October 2018, the University of São Paulo Biobank for Aging Studies became the CLF Global Brain Bank’s exclusive collaborator in Brazil.

The mission of the CLF Global Brain Bank is to accelerate research by activating the global scientific and sports communities in the fight to understand, prevent, treat, and eventually cure CTE and other trauma-related brain diseases. The CLF Global Brain Bank is modeled off the success of CLF’s collaboration in the United States (US) with Boston University (BU) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has become the world’s largest CTE brain bank. The VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank research team, led by Dr. Ann McKee, has diagnosed more than 400 cases of CTE in the U.S.

Members of the CLF Global Brain Bank commit to collaborative research, including using common study methods, common data elements, and sharing data. Brain tissue will be stored and made available to outside researchers.

“The Australian Sports Brain Bank looks forward to collaborating with our New Zealand colleagues at the New Zealand Sports Human Brain Bank Initiative,” said Dr. Michael Buckland, director of the Australian Sports Brain Bank, who was also in New Zealand for the announcement. “I hope that by working together we can make a uniquely Antipodean contribution to international collaborative efforts to understand, treat and prevent CTE”.

Dr. Buckland announced this week that more than 200 people have pledged their brain to the Australian Sports Brain Bank, which has now received nine brain donations and completed analysis on four cases.

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PINK Concussions Partners with University of Glasgow to Further Concussion Reserch

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have announced a research partnership with the international charity PINK Concussions.

Led by Dr Willie Stewart, the Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group hopes the partnership will bring much-needed attention to female brain injury research. Using the PINK Concussions’ #PINKBrainPledge, women in the UK will be encouraged to pledge to donate their brains to the Glasgow Traumatic Brain Injury Archive to study the effects of brain injury, including its link to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE.

Dr Stewart is an internationally renowned researcher, known for his work studying outcomes from brain injuries. He recently published a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine detailing the first major findings of the FIELD study, showing that former professional footballers were 3.5 times more likely to die with neurodegenerative disease than their matched population counterparts.

Based in America, PINK Concussions focuses on female brain injury, such as from sports concussion, domestic violence, accidents or military service. In 2020, PINK Concussions plans to make these invisible injuries in women visible with a goal of recruiting 2,020 women across the world to pledge their brains to research.

Dr Willie Stewart, honorary clinical associate professor at the University of Glasgow, said: “I am delighted that The Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group has partnered with PINK Concussions. 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.”

“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.”

Katherine Snedaker, Founder and Executive Director of PINK Concussions, said: “In the past, the focus of brain injury research has primarily been on male brains, without any active recruitment for women to pledge their brains after death.”

“We are so excited to partner with Dr Stewart and his colleagues in Glasgow to launch the first active recruitment of women in the UK to be a part of brain injury and CTE research..”

Information on the work of the Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group, including how to register for brain donation is available at: https://gbirg.inp.gla.ac.uk/register-for-brain-donation/

Women interested in participating in research brain donation are encouraged to take the PINK Concussions’ pledge #PINKBrainPledge. For more information on the #PINKBrainPledge visit http://www.pinkconcussions.com/

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