Imagine your brain as a very soft lump of raw meat sitting inside your skull.(sorry I can’t think of a good vegetarian option at the moment!) And each time your head gets hit or punched there’s a risk your brain gets damaged by rebounding against your skull, or by getting twisted and torn as it shifts back and forth and sideways.
That’s one of the powerful images presented in ‘The Beautiful Brain’, a series about the brain and how it gets affected by the sports we play. And it also looks at how sports like American Football and rugby are responding to these risks.
The show focuses on the degenerative brain condition called CTE (short for chronic traumatic encephalopathy) which shows up in an increased risk of dementia, problems with memory, depression, aggression and personality changes. And once you have it, there’s no treatment: no cure.
We play some of Episode 2 of ‘The Beautiful Brain’ called ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ featuring interviews with Dr Bennett Omalu, the man who made the breakthrough linking CTE to repeated blows to the head in sport back in 2002, and Ann McKee the director of Boston University’s CTE Center. ‘The Beautiful Brain’ is produced and narrated by Hana Walker-Brown, and is available exclusively via Audible.