Participate in Research

Matt Birk, NFL All-Pro Center
“It’s something that we don’t like to talk about as players because I think we’re afraid of what could happen to us years from now.  But what they were finding at Boston University was pretty eye-opening, so I wanted to do my part and help out. I think all of us as players should try to do whatever we can to help improve player safety for the guys who come after us.”
– Matt Birk, NFL All-Pro Center

Developing treatment and eventually a cure for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy takes research, and research takes volunteers. CTE Center offers multiple ways to participate in this research. Check back regularly as CTE Center launches more programs.


A registry of current and former athletes and military personnel who wish to donate their brain and spinal cord to the CTE Center after death. For more information on the brain donation registry, please contact Laney Evers at 617-414-1187 or To learn more about the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank follow this link, VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank.

LEGEND (Longitudinal Examination to Gather Evidence of Neurodegenerative Disease)

The LEGEND study is focused on examining the effects of repetitive brain trauma (like one may receive playing some organized sports) in a living person.  Participants complete online questionnaires and talk with a member of our study staff once a year so we may gather information on concussions, athletic history, medical history, and cognitive functioning. Participants can also choose to provide a saliva sample for genetic analysis.  The goal is to track our participants’ progress over time, so we can see who develops problems down the road and who doesn’t.  The total time commitment for participants in the LEGEND study is about 2 hours for the first year, and about an hour and a half per year after that.  This groundbreaking study allows our team to understand and analyze both genetic and environmental risk factors for developing problems related to repetitive brain trauma in athletes.

Anybody with a history of athletic participation (at the youth, high school, collegiate, or professional level) may be eligible to participate.  Those interested in participating should contact the study coordinator, at

DIAGNOSE (Diagnostics, Imaging, & Genetics Network for the Objective Study and Evaluation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy)

CURRENTLY ENROLLING: Learn how to participate HERE or contact the coordinator at or 617-414-1193

Click HERE to visit the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project website

VA-BU-SLI Brain Bank

Family members of deceased athletes may donate their loved one’s brain and spinal cord after their death to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank to be examined neuropathologically for evidence of CTE or other disorders of the central nervous system. The family member(s) will be interviewed for a history of their loved one, including their loved one’s athletic and concussion history, educational and occupational history, medical history and history of cognitive, behavioral, and mood symptoms. To learn more, please contact Laney Evers at 617-414-1187 or

    To learn more about the brain bank follow this link, VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank.

    The CTE Center is also affiliated with the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center



    Head Impact & Trauma Surveillance StudyLocation: Entirely online at

    Seeking: Anyone aged 40+ who played soccer or tackle football at any level – youth, high school, college or pro/elite. Participation is a fully-online survey that includes questionnaires on sports participation, medical history and behavior and mood, and brain games. It only takes approximately two hours to complete, and can be completed at any time and over several days, if desired. Participants are then asked to take a follow up assessment online one year later.Goal: The major goal of HITSS is to determine if there are any connections between repetitive head impacts in contact sports and risks for later life brain health issues.

    To learn more, please contact our team at or call 617-358-6864.