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Research: Heading of football 'linked to brain damage'

After proper investigation and research, Scientists have come to the conclusion that Repeated heading during a footballer's professional career may be linked to long-term brain damage.

This was backed up when Researchers from University College London and Cardiff University examined the brains of five people who had been professional footballers and one who had been a committed amateur throughout his life.

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They had played football for an average of 26 years and all six went on to develop dementia in their 60s. While performing post mortem examinations, scientists found signs of brain injury - called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in four cases. CTE has been linked to memory loss, depression and dementia and has been seen in other contact sports.
One of the Scientists involved in the examination, Prof Huw Morris, of University College London said "When we examined their brains at autopsy we saw the sorts of changes that are seen in ex-boxers, the changes that are often associated with repeated brain injury which are known as CTE. So really for the first time in a series of players we have shown that there is evidence that head injury has occurred earlier in their life which presumably has some impact on them developing dementia."

According to Dr David Reynolds, at the charity Alzheimer's Research UK, the public were meant to note that the causes of dementia are complex and it is likely that the condition is caused by a combination of age, lifestyle and genetic factors. He said that "Further research is needed to shed light on how lifestyle factors such as playing sport may alter dementia risk, and how this sits in the context of the well-established benefits of being physically active." He added that for people who are recreational footballers, football injuries are unlikely to cause long-term problems and he pointed to expert advice that the benefit of exercise is likely to outweigh the risks.

With this concise briefing, heavy blows or hit to the head can lead to dementia which is mostly experienced by retired boxers.

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