The International Concussion & Head Injury Research Foundation has announced a new study which will look exclusively at concussion in European sportsmen and women, starting with a screening process covering over 200 former jockeys. The study, ‘Concussion in Sport’, seeks to establish whether retired sportsmen and sportswomen have an increased incidence, or suffer an earlier onset, of neuro-degenerative disorders.
The connection between brain damage and concussion has been made for decades and examples of those affected in the world of sport include the boxers Mohammed Ali and Michael Watson, and former England forward Jeff Astle, who died of a brain tumour from heading heavy footballs. In the US and Canada, ice hockey players have experienced devastating symptoms of brain damage after a playing career that included frequent fights and concussions.
Concussion is the most common head injury to be suffered, from all manner of accidents, yet it can often be the one most overlooked. It is only through high-quality, independent research that we can uncover the true facts surrounding this complicated condition and the implications.