Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a condition where the brain, after repeated traumatic impacts, is injured. Brain function slows down and cognition is impaired, usually in memory loss and critical thinking skills. There can also be signs of depression, anger and poor impulse control. Most people who show signs of CTE have played contact sports like football, soccer and ice hockey, however a retired jockey who spent decades racing thoroughbred horses, has become the first rider to donate his brain for research after his death.
Dale Briggs had a career in racing that spanned 40 years. In that time he estimates he probably had about 20-30 concussions from impacts during races and training. His wife, Daniela told Australian Broadcasting company that she noticed changes in her husband after a particularly nasty concussion in 2013. That’s when they got doctors involved in treating the anger, emotional outbursts and depression. Briggs has partnered with the Australian Sports Brain Bank, which will get his brain after he dies. Briggs and his wife both feel that it’s important to know if the sport they love and were dedicated to is putting jockeys at risk.