Update 6th Feb 2019. The Economist 26th Jan 2019: Knocking heads together – Few sports are doing enough to protect athletes from brain damage – Small rule changes can reduce concussions in rugby and American football
FANS OF LARGE men colliding with one another are in luck. Next weekend the Six Nations, a rugby contest for the best teams in Europe, gets going in Paris. Two days later the Super Bowl kicks off in Atlanta. Some 115 cameras will beam the final of the National Football League (NFL) to fans around the world, along with advertisements urging viewers to drink beer and eat nachos. It is not a time for healthy living. Yet there is growing awareness that it is not just gluttonous fans who suffer. Contact sports can lead to serious health problems for the players, too……
Update 14th April 2018: Tom Whipple in the Times May 8th Blow to head ‘can double dementia risk’
Multiple blows to the head from playing rugby may accelerate brain ageing and potentially lead to early dementia, according to a Welsh academic.
Prof Damian Bailey carried out research on 280 current and retired players.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) already accepts there could be a link between repetitive head injuries and long-term problems.
Prof Bailey’s work is yet to be published but could be the first study suggesting a clearer link.
The IRB said it would not comment until the study is published while the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), which issued guidance on concussion in September, said it plans to meet Prof Bailey to discuss his research.
We know this is true about boxing (Dementia pugilistica), so why not rugby?