It is claimed that a new study has found the ‘missing link’ between football and dementia
A leading researcher on the link between dementia and sport has called on football to drop its head after a new study highlighted the risk that players may develop neurodegenerative diseases due to repeated headings.
Dr Willie Stewart of the University of Glasgow said the sport should now give a warning about the dangers it poses over the course of a player’s career.
Previous studies have shown that footballers are at greater risk of dying from dementia or other neurodegenerative diseases than the general population and Stewart says a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology provides the ‘missing link’.
What was said?
“With the current data, we now propose that football should be sold with a health warning that says repeated football could lead to a greater risk of dementia. This is where we are now, which cannot be ignored,” Stewart said. said. is quoted by saying The guardian.
“In the previous study, we did not have enough data to look at the important factor: exposure to football. What we could say last time was that if you were a football player, your risk of dying with a degenerative brain disease was higher. was, but we could not say what in football it does.
‘By using our surrogates for exposure to head and brain injury, which is the field position and length of the game, we can see that if you are in a position where you are exposed to a high head shot or if you play the game longer play, your risk is greater. ”
He added: “The data from this newspaper is the missing link to understand the link between sport and dementia. We put it together with what we know about the risk of death … and there is really nothing else. There is there no other suggested risk factor, and it is the one that can really address and eliminate this disease.
“I think football should ask the difficult questions: is it absolutely necessary for the football match? Is possible exposure to degenerative brain disease absolutely necessary? Or can another form of play be considered?”
What did the study find?
Of the 7676 former football players in the study, five percent (386) were diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, compared with only 1.6% (366) of the 23,028 in the control group.
The study concluded that the danger varies between positions and career length.
Defenders are five times more likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases than the general population, while goalkeepers are the least susceptible.
The new policy of English football
The Football Association (FA) and Premier League recently new leadership issued to clubs with respect to headings in training.
The new policy recommends that teams limit the number of headlines with ‘higher power’ to 10 per week.
The guidance applies to teams at all levels of the game.
“It is recommended that a maximum of 10 heads be performed at a higher power per training week,” reads a statement.
“This recommendation is given to protect the well – being of players and will be reviewed regularly as further research is done to understand more about the impact of the football field.”