£1m for football brain injury research – BBC News

A charitable foundation funding medical research has said it will spend up to £1m on a study of brain injuries in footballers.

This follows a BBC documentary by the former England player Alan Shearer highlighting the potential long term risks of repeated heading of a ball and the plight of retired professional players who have developed dementia.

The Drake Foundation was set up in 2014 with a commitment to improve the understanding of concussion injuries in sport.

It has already backed research on the brain health of rugby union players.

The charity funded a recent study which after post mortem examinations found signs of the brain injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in four out of six former footballers who had developed dementia.

The research team at University College London (UCL) said the brains had seen the sorts of changes seen in ex-boxers associated with CTE.

But the UCL research team made clear that their study was far from definitive and a number of factors could have contributed to the players’ dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK said further research was needed on whether playing sport altered dementia risk.

Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41970624

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