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BOSTON (AP) – Former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy, currently with the New Jersey Devils, says he will donate his brain to research after he dies so it can be studied for signs of traumatic injury.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation says Lovejoy is the first active NHL player to make such a pledge.

More than 2,500 retired athletes and military veterans have pledged their brains to the foundation. Doctors examine the brains for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition that can cause depression, violent mood swings, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems.

Lovejoy says he’s played hockey for most of his life, including 10 seasons in the NHL. He says he wants to give back to the sport by making it safer.

He says he’s had relatively little brain trauma in his career but has seen the effects concussions have had on teammates.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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