Earnhardt Jr. says donating brain to science a 'no-brainer'

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 11:48 PM

is calling his decision to donate his brain to science a "no-brainer."NASCAR'south most favorite driver tweeted his intention earlier this week.

Earnhardt Jr. says donating brain to science a 'no-brainer'

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is calling his decision to donate his brain to science a "no-brainer."

NASCAR'south most favorite driver tweeted his intention earlier this week. He said Friday he plans to pledge his brain to the Concussion Heritage Foundation. The grouping works with Boston Univ on research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative sickness that doctors believe is caused by repeated blows to the head.

Earnhardt says he was motivated by reading about three former Oakland Raiders who donated their brains in honor of teammate Ken Stabler. The quarterback'south brain showed signs of CTE. Soccer star Brandi Chastain, among others, also has pledged to donate her brain for research.

"I just thought that was incredible that those guys did that in honor of their teammate, and I read where Brandi had done that maybe a mo ago, so that just was really inspiring," Earnhardt said at Martinsville Speedway.

Earnhardt has a history of concussions. He'd two just weeks apart in the fall of two thousand twelve and missed two races. The first came in a crash during a test session at Kansas, and Earnhardt hid the injury. He spoke up when he knew something was incorrect after a crash at Talladegaa a few weeks later.

He sought treatment at the Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a boss in concussion research. That sparked his interest in learning about his brain, an endeavor he hopes to continue with a visit to Boston Univ and its brain bank when the series goes to New Hampshire.

"They gave me the confidence going through that process that I could be successful and obtain through it and I have," Earnhardt said. "I've been healthy and successful and I learned a ton. I may be even a better race car driver today. I'm definitely getting the results on the track that I've always wanted."

The accuracy of concussion evaluations is portion of an ongoing debate. IndyCar driver Will Power was held out of the season-opening race at St. Petersburg, FL when his was misdiagnosed with a concussion rather than an inner ear infection that caused dizziness, headaches and nausea. Earnhardt, however, thinks the system works.

"I think the protocols and the advances that we've made in trying to defend ourselves are grand things," he said. "I'm excited about what NASCAR has done. They've really taken this head on. They're talking to the right people. They're talking and involving themselves with the right folks to obtain the best information to be able to defend the drivers the best way they can."

The 41-year-old driver already intended to be an organ donor, so he said giving up his brain made sense. He added that he hopes science will be advanced sufficient by then that his brain will number longer be needed. In the interim, though, he hopes his decision prompts others to chase his lead.

"That would be awesome if it inspires other people to do it," he said. "I've talked to people within my own family and they've been inspired to memorise more, so that'south a good feeling."

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