Sydney - Former Australian rugby league and union stars Ian Roberts and Peter FitzSimons, as well as ex-NFL player Colin Scotts have agreed to donate their brains to a new Global Brain Bank so they can be examined for signs of traumatic injury.
The international research network will work with the Boston-based Concussion Legacy Foundation to study the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and develop a treatment and cure.
The degenerative condition has been found to cause memory loss, mood swings, depression and other cognitive difficulties in boxers, football players and others who have sustained repeated head trauma.
It can only be diagnosed by examining the brain during an autopsy.
Rugby player and coach Barry "Tizza" Taylor was diagnosed by Boston researchers with CTE in 2013 - the first Australian to be found with the disease.