£1 million project launch to monitor ex-footballers for early signs of dementia

Published by  News Archive

On 7th Jan 2020

footballer

Researchers at the University of East Anglia are crowd-funding a new project to test former professional football players for early signs of dementia.

Recent research from the University of Glasgow has shown that retired male players are around five times more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease compared with the average person.

But little is known about exactly when players start to show signs of the disease and even less about the effects in women as the majority of research has focussed on men.

The UEA research team will use cutting-edge technology to test for early signs of dementia in men and women, that are identifiable long before any memory problems or other noticeable symptoms become apparent.

The University has launched a £1 million fundraising goal for this research, at least 10 per cent of which they hope will be crowd-funded.

Lead researcher Dr Michael Grey, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences, said: “We now know that there is much higher risk of dementia in former professional footballers, and we think this is related to repetitive heading of the ball. We do not know if this extends to the amateur level.

“So there will be many footballers out there who are understandably very worried about their futures.

“We will be working with former professional players to investigate and track their brain health over time.

“We hope to follow these footballers for the rest of their lives.

“This is the first time that this type of research has been done,” he added.

Former players in the Eastern region will be the first to take part in the SCORES project (Screening Cognitive Outcomes after Repetitive head impact Exposure in Sport) – before the study is rolled out nationally later this year.

The research team are looking for former professional players to take part.

Former Norwich City Football Club striker Iwan Roberts, who played more than 600 games for club and country, is already backing the project.

He said: “I played football for 20 years professionally, and headed many balls over that period. I want to see whether there is anything I should be concerned about in the foreseeable future.

“It’s always important to improve and make things better. The game has improved, balls are lighter, but the modern-day player will still be at risk of this type of illness.

“We don’t know how young children cope with heading the ball. I personally think that [heading the ball] should be banned from a certain age.

“The research they are doing here will help everybody,” he added.

The project is among a number of pieces of work in the Concussion Action Programme, a research group within UEA Health and Social Care Partners.
 

WATCH: Dementia - UEA Researchers to test former professional footballers for disease

 

Want to take part?

The research team are looking for former professional football players, both men and women, who are aged over 50 to take part in the study. Active non-footballers aged over 50 can also take part.

The research will see a small group of participants coming into the lab, but the majority of the testing will be done online at home.

To take part, please visit www.scoresproject.org. To contact the team about the project, please email scoresproject@uea.ac.uk.

Could you help by making a donation?

Those who would like to chip in, to help make this project possible, are invited to visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/SCORES to make a donation to the research.  

Your donation will go towards funding the equipment, software development, and researcher time to carry out this vital research.

Latest News

  News
25 Jan 2021

Continued strict control measures needed to reduce new COVID-19 strains

A group of scientists is calling on governments to consider the continued use of strict control measures as the only way to reduce the evolution and spread of...

Read more >
  News
22 Jan 2021

"Timing wise, this U-turn in US climate policy is excellent"

As President Biden signs the United States back up to the UN Paris Agreement, Heike Schroeder, professor of environmental governance in UEA’s School of...

Read more >
  News
21 Jan 2021

Herd immunity may not be achievable even with high vaccine uptake

The government vaccination programme may not be sufficient to achieve herd immunity - even if everyone in the UK is vaccinated - according to new research from...

Read more >
  News
20 Jan 2021

Study shows how network of marine protected areas could help safeguard Antarctic penguins

New research led by BirdLife International, the University of East Anglia (UEA) and British Antarctic Survey highlights how a proposed network of marine...

Read more >
Are you searching for something?
  News
20 Jan 2021

Study shows how network of marine protected areas could help safeguard Antarctic penguins

New research led by BirdLife International, the University of East Anglia (UEA) and British Antarctic Survey highlights how a proposed network of marine...

Read more >
  News
19 Jan 2021

New report on post-Brexit challenges and opportunities

Brexit and Beyond, a new report from academic think tank UK in a Changing Europe, underlines the challenges and opportunities that confront the United Kingdom...

Read more >
  News
19 Jan 2021

‘Babysitters’ provide boost to offspring of elderly birds

Young Seychelles warblers fare better if their elderly parents have help raising them, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the...

Read more >
  News
15 Jan 2021

New project aims to improve rates of patients taking medicines for type 2 diabetes

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is working with the Universities of Oxford and Amsterdam to test a community pharmacy service designed to support people with...

Read more >
  News
14 Jan 2021

2020 ends earth’s warmest 10 years on record

The latest data confirms 2020 concludes the earth’s warmest 10-year period on record.

Read more >
  News
11 Jan 2021

The true cost of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for breast cancer costs the UK economy more than £248 million annually, including ‘out-of-pocket’ personal costs of more than £1,000 per patient –...

Read more >
  News
Unhealthy eating during lockdown
07 Jan 2021

We drank more, exercised less, in lockdown – study shows

Lockdown saw people in the UK eating less fruit and veg, getting less exercise and drinking more alcohol – according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Read more >