She hopes her brain will help with concussion studies.
Brandi Chastain, America's legendary soccer player who scored the winning goal in the U.S. v. China World Cup final in 1999, is donating her brain to science.
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Chastain's gray matter is going to Boston University so that researchers can study chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease that impacts many athletes who suffered concussions during their tenures.
"I'm not going to be needing it at the end of my life," Chastain told USA TODAY Sports.
Chastain, 47, retired from soccer and hopes that the addition of a female brain can help them determine the impact on women.
"Could we then use that information to help say that before the age of 14, it's not a good idea to head the ball?'" she said.
Chastain said that she would "see stars" while playing and had two concussions during college, but has not exhibited any CTE symptoms.
"I never had an official diagnosis of a concussion in my career," she said. "But as you grow older, you sometimes say, gosh, am I losing my memory or did I used to forget when I went into a room what I went in there for? Could this be the start of something?"
Dr. Ann McKee, who heads the CTE Center at BU, thinks this addition is wonderful.
"Brandi Chastain's decision to donate her brain to further research is a powerful and courageous act that will ultimately improve the future health of female athletes, military veterans and other women who experience repetitive brain trauma," McKee said in a statement. "We currently know so little about how gender influences outcome after trauma; her pledge marks an important step to expand our knowledge in this critical area."
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Of the 307 brains that BU researchers have gotten to work on, only 7 were from women and none have been diagnosed with CTE according to BU medical school spokeswoman Gina DiGravio-Wilczewski.