A four-year study will identify signs of mental decline and treat known risk factors for dementia to try to reduce your chances of getting the disease
More than 100 ex-professional footballers are being recruited for a landmark study to see what can be done to help players at higher risk dementia because of headers.
former First League Stars aged 40 to 60 could be among the players who will be asked to sign up for regular brain scans and reasoning tests.
The four-year study will identify signs of mental decline and address known dementia risk factors to try to reduce their chances of developing this devastating disease.
The £1.3million BrainHOPE study, funded by the FA and FIFA, is led by pioneering brain researcher Professor Willie Stewart of the University of Glasgow.
(Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)
His earlier FIELD study from 2019 confirmed for the first time that footballers are three and a half times more likely to develop dementia.
Prof Stewart said: “This is an incredibly important study and we are grateful to the FA and FIFA for their support in enabling it to continue.
“Our results from the FIELD study show that there is cause for concern about the lifelong brain health of ex-footballers. BrainHOPE was designed to identify tests that could identify problems early and, more importantly, possible ways to try to reduce the risk of dementia for ex-footballers.”
Players such as Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Kevin Keegan, Viv Anderson, Graeme Souness, Emile Heskey, Matt Le Tissier and Terry Butcher have all voiced their own concerns about the impact of years of headers.
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Ex-England striker Peter Crouch – who holds the Guinness World Record for most Premier League header goals – has revealed he is scared of developing dementia.
The 6ft 7in tall former Spurs and Liverpool Striker said: “I’m worried about dementia. I’ve headed more balls than anyone in Europe for five or six years. So if anyone is going to fight, it will be me.”
England legend Jimmy Greaves lost his battle with dementia last year, following several other members of England’s 1966 World Cup squad to die from the disease.
The new study, working with Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh, will recruit 120 former professional footballers to be compared to 700 controls from the general population.
You will receive support in dealing with known dementia risk factors such as diet, smoking and lack of exercise. Researchers will also look at health factors that may also increase their risk, such as: B. high blood pressure and diabetes.
Charlotte Cowie, Head of Performance Medicine at The Football Association, said: “The launch of the BrainHope study is another important step in advancing our understanding of the long-term health of former professional footballers.
“This research is part of the broader Prevent Dementia study and will help us better understand the links between wildlife and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as potential early interventions that could help reduce the risk or speed of developing dementia.” .”
Researchers first began to look seriously at the possible link between dementia and football following the death of former West Bromwich Albion and England striker Jeff Astle in 2002 at the age of 59.
It was initially believed that Astle had died of Alzheimer’s disease, but the coroner, upon his inquiry, ruled that his brain had been damaged by heavy leather bullets.
In 2014, Prof. Stewart, consultant neuropathologist, conducted a new examination of his brain and found that he was killed by a specific pathology associated with exposure to brain injury known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Dementia claimed the life of 66-year-old hero Ray Wilson in 2018, Martin Peters in 2019, and Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles in 2020. Sir Bobby Charlton has also been diagnosed with dementia.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/ex-players-take-part-study-26796441 Ex-players take part in study to help athletes at risk of dementia with headers