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John Beattie, a former Scotland rugby player, has decided to donate his brain to medical science, following research for a BBC Radio documentary into evidence which suggests rugby players may suffer brain injury as a result of knocks to the head. He wants doctors to study any ill effects he sustained during his playing career.
He also wants other rugby players to be more aware of possible damage. He recalls an incident when an opposing player’s knee hit his head when his "whole world started swimming". Although in his career he was never knocked out or taken to hospital, he is still concerned about how the bumps he took over 20 years of playing might have affected his brain.
After Beattie dies neuropathologists in Glasgow will carry out a biopsy to isolate the cause of any brain injuries to rugby, so the risks of playing contact sports might be better understood for future generations.
Dr Willie Stewart, consultant neuropathologist, said: "We've known for years that boxers can have problems with head injuries … problems with memory and a dementia-like illness” and "more recently … colleagues in America have encountered a similar type of abnormality in the brains of people who have played other contact sports."
Head Injury UK
At Head Injury UK our specialist solicitors are experienced in guiding clients who have suffered head injury through a number of different causes. We welcome research into the causes of brain injury which may better help prevent and treat brain injury. If you have suffered a head injury due to someone else’s fault, please contact Andy Shaw to discuss how we can help you pursue a claim for rehabilitation and compensation.
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