Report calls for international coordination to prevent concussion in athletes

JUAN MABROMATA / AFP

Coordinated international research is vital to furthering an understanding of the link between Athletes concussion and development madAccording to a report published this Tuesday in the UK. A study by the Alzheimer’s Research Fund and the Health Policy Partnership followed the decision of former soccer players Football They deplored World Rugby and the English and Welsh Societies for failing to protect them from chronic neurological injury.

Among the 200 or so whistleblowers are rugby players such as former Wales captain Ryan Jones and England’s Steve Thompson, world champion in 2003, as well as several other former athletes who have been diagnosed with the disease. mad forward And who suffered others ruin nervous Irreversible.

Several studies have shown a relationship between concussions cerebral And the Increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, as well as the fact that former professional athletes are more susceptible to such diseases. Previous research by Willie Stewart, a neurologist in Glasgow, showed that former football players football Professionals are 3.5 times more likely to die from neurodegenerative diseases than the general population.

The new Alzheimer’s Research Fund and Health Policy Partnership report makes clear that an international consortium of researchers and funding bodies is needed to better understand these links. “There are several limitations in the current research that make it difficult to compare data to reach general conclusions,” says the study, called Dementia and sports: priorities for future research..

The study adds: “Studies are often not comparable, with differences in methodologies and definitions used for the main measures. Assessment methods and follow-up duration also vary widely.”

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The report recommends long-term studies that go beyond male athletes to include risk factors in other groups, including children, adolescents and women. Alzheimer’s Research UK will invest £500,000 to advance the research identified as a priority in the report.

Sports broadcaster Hayley McQueen, daughter of the former Scotland defender and Manchester United Gordon McQueen, who suffers from vascular dementia, welcomed the publication of the report. “Having seen firsthand the devastation that dementia causes to people, their families and their friends, it is time to come together around the table and work together to better understand and act with precision,” Hayley said.

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