De­men­tia risk for soc­cer stars

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGSTARS OF BIG MOVIES SEQUEL TOPLESS -

FOOTBALLERS who head the ball re­peat­edly can end up with de­men­tia, new find­ings sug­gest – prompt­ing calls for more de­tailed re­search.

A po­ten­tial cause of de­men­tia thought to arise from blows to the head has been con­firmed in a group of re­tired play­ers fol­low­ing a small study.

The re­sults pro­vide a plat­form for a “press­ing re­search ques­tion” on whether de­men­tia is more com­mon in footballers than the gen­eral pub­lic.

Dawn As­tle, daugh­ter of for­mer Eng­land and West Brom striker Jeff As­tle, who died of a de­gen­er­a­tive brain dis­ease in 2002, aged 59, said the find­ings are no sur­prise.

She said: “The evidence is mount­ing. It is sad to read – I am not sur­prised, it doesn’t shock me.

“But the re­search is so im­por­tant for cur­rent and fu­ture play­ers.”

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