Premier League research link between heading and dementia

Some former footballers have demanded for the phasing out of heading in football

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MAY 08: Fabricio Coloccini (L) and Gonzalo Rodriguez of San Lorenzo go for a header during the match against Palmeiras for the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 at Allianz Parque Stadium on May 08, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

The Professional Footballers Association in England and Wales has asked current and former footballers worried about their memory and other brain functions to take part in a survey about neurodegenerative diseases.

The news comes months after the PFA announced the creation of a dedicated Former Player Care department for neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) within football.

The department formed on February 2, 2022 was launched to focus on areas such as developing player education, monitoring ongoing research and football stakeholder engagement.

Dawn Astle was selected as the Project Lead for NDD in football. Dawn is daughter of former West Bromwich Albion and England international Jeff Astle who passed away with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in 2002.

CTE is a disease that leads to brain degeneration due to repeated head traumas, which causes concussions, short-term memory loss, impulsive behavior and depression.

Astle said she calls on more footballers to take part in the survey in order to " help further demonstrate the sheer scale of the issue."

She further revealed that the results will be provided to the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC), which could recommend that those affected receive benefits from the government.

A study done in 2019 by Glasgow University indicated that ex-footballers are three and a half times more likely to pass away of dementia than the general population. The sample was taken from men who played professional football in Scotland, and were born between 1900 and 1976.

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