Ray Ciancaglini, a former professional boxer from Geneva, has been participating in the Boston University CTE Hope Study on July 17-18, continuing his advocacy against the severe impact of concussions. Ciancaglini has experienced Parkinson’s Syndrome and Dementia Pugilistica, now known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), for years due to multiple untreated concussions during his boxing career. Through his organization, The Second Impact, he raises awareness about the lifelong consequences of improperly handled concussions.
The studies Ciancaglini is contributing to involve extensive testing including motor skills and cognitive evaluation, blood sampling, spinal taps, and MRI and CT scans. His participation in these studies, alongside other former professional athletes from high-impact sports, allows researchers to explore the damaging effects of repeated head injuries. Additionally, Ciancaglini has pledged to donate his brain and spinal cord to Boston University’s CTE research posthumously.
Ciancaglini’s ongoing fight against CTE extends beyond medical research; he has been educating various audiences, including students and first responders, about concussions, mental health, and physical fitness. CTE, first identified in boxers in the 1920s, is a degenerative brain disorder linked to repetitive mild traumatic brain injuries. The condition progressively worsens over time, manifesting symptoms ranging from confusion and memory loss to progressive dementia and suicidality.
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