Hockey’s role in CTE research continues to evolve

Football is largely the focus of discussions concerning athletes and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), but could that be starting to change?

According to an in-depth feature story from Sports Illustrated, more and more attention is now being paid to the hard hits found in hockey, especially those that take place in the National Hockey League (NHL). As the NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs move along, for instance, “the calls are growing louder” for the league to implement a zero-tolerance policy that punishes players for hard hits to the head, regardless of intent.

Writer Alex Prewitt also interviewed Ann McKee, MD, a professor of neurology and pathology who helps run the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, the world’s biggest tissue repository focused on brain injuries and CTE. According to McKee, the brain bank has started acquiring many more brains of deceased athletes—including former NHL players—and military veterans in recent months.

“We’ve finally gotten to the point where people recognize that we can’t just ignore this and it’ll go away,” she said. “Which was basically the first nine years of my work, just trying to convince people this is actually a problem.”

Click the link below to read the full story from Sports Illustrated.