UEA research project focusses on former footballers’ brain health | Bolt Burdon Kemp UEA research project focusses on former footballers’ brain health | Bolt Burdon Kemp

Find lawyer icon
Find your Lawyer

Free call back
Contact us
Round the clock support
Won't shy away from difficult cases
Committed to swiftly progressing claims

UEA research project focusses on former footballers’ brain health

I previously wrote about whether head injuries can cause dementia in an earlier blog: Traumatic Brain Injury and Dementia.

Although some studies have reported a causal link between traumatic brain injuries and dementia, the exact relationship between the two is not entirely conclusive.  However, in order to obtain further evidence on this subject, the University of East Anglia (UEA) has begun a research project testing former football players for early signs of the disease.

Their aim is to test the brain health of former players over a period of time to see if they can obtain evidence of neuro-degenerative symptoms before the more obvious symptoms such as memory problems and language start to surface.  This will be compared to a population of active individuals who have not taken part professionally in contact sports.  The types of testing will include examination of an individual’s attention, memory, cognitive skills and spacial navigation.

This research project is a further step in expanding our knowledge on the subject and comes on the heels of research by the University of Glasgow’s Brain Injury Group last year, which found that former professional footballers are three and a half times more likely to suffer from dementia and other serious neurological diseases.  It was unclear however what the exact cause of this increased link was due to – was it the increase in number of headers professionals footballers did compared to the general population, the increased chance of concussions during the sport or some other factor inherent in being a professional footballer?

Whilst the causal connection may not yet be conclusive, it is commendable that former professional footballer Iwan Roberts has signed up to take part in the project and is hoping to bring more awareness to the subject.  The project requires more ex-professional footballers to take part, as well as a comparison group of active adults over the age of 50.

Whilst we should always be cautious in accepting headline news as conclusive evidence, we will not increase our understanding and knowledge on the subject until further tests and research are carried out.

Some of Our Accreditations

See more of our accreditations

We’re here to help you.

Want to talk to one of our experienced lawyers? We can call when it suits you for a no-obligation, strictly confidential chat.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser.

This site (and many others) provides a limited experience on unsupported browsers and not all functionality will work correctly or look its best.