Following recent revelation that last year National Football League star quarterback Tom Brady may have played through concussions during the season, two retired players, former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and former New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Marshall announced that they will donate their brains for research on head injuries to the Concussion Legacy Foundation. The two made their announcement in conjunction with their annual Brain Trust: Pathways to innoVAtion event.

Both players have been vocal proponents for additional research regarding the health of current and former American Football players, many of whom suffer from concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE following their time in the violent sport. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease that affects victims who have numerous blows to the head and suffer from brain damage as a result. Marshall talked about his current struggles, including short term memory loss, erratic behavior and mental fogginess. Other symptoms may include aggression, depression and impaired judgement, all of which could make it difficult or impossible for someone to maintain gainful employment.

Many professions beyond sports, such as construction work and mining could lead to serious or catastrophic brain injuries. Even when not in the workplace, serious head injuries are not uncommon in car accidents and slip and falls, both of which could severely injure an accident victim, leading to long-term or even life-long consequences.

The Social Security Administration acknowledges the severity of serious head injuries as well as chronic brain conditions such as CTE, and includes such conditions for their Social Security Disability Insurance program. Victims who are unable to work due to their debilitating conditions may want to consider SSDI benefits for brain injuries. The benefits may help provide financial relief to Americans suffering and unable to work.