UK study to examine link between football and dementia 0

The English Football Association has announced a comprehensive study to find out how the sport may cause brain damage in players.

The association announced on Thursday that a research is to be launched into the possible link between heading a football and brain damage.

The research, which will study the incidence of degenerative neurocognitive disease in approximately 15,000 former players, will start in January.

The launch of the study to unveil the potential risk of brain damage among football players followed a BBC documentary presented by former England captain Alan Shearer this month that  highlighted the case of former English footballer Jeff Astle, who died aged 59 in 2002.

An inquest found that heading a heavy leather football repeatedly during his career was a key factor in causing brain damage in the player..

“In the past decade there have been growing concerns around perceived increased risk of dementia through participation in contact sports. However, research data to support and quantify this risk have been lacking,” said Dr William Stewart.

Stewart provided medical evidence in the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Astle’s death, and is the lead expert in the study entitled Football’s Influence on Lifelong Health and Dementia Risk (FIELD).

“Through the FIELD study we hope to be able to provide some understanding of the long-term health impact of football,” he said.

Stewart and his team will be conducting the research from the University of Glasgow and the Hampden Sports Clinic.

“Dementia can have a devastating effect and, as the governing body of English football, we felt compelled to commission a significant new study in order to fully understand if there are any potential risks associated with playing the game,” it added.


Source: Presstv