There is much debate and speculation over what causes dementia in people and if there are ways in which we can prevent the disease from developing. However, it can be difficult to pinpoint the root causes of dementia and whether our lifestyle contributes to this. In recent history there has been attention given to a possible correlation between contact sport (specifically head injuries sustained during sport) and a potentially higher risk of dementia later on in life.
Injuries are often sustained from continuous head collision during sports which can result in a build-up of head trauma over time. Speculation that sports can be a factor in the development of dementia has been given a lot more attention since a number of former sportsmen have spoken out that they are now suffering from dementia. Most notably, it has come to light that a few members of England’s 1966 world cup-winning football team are now living dementia.
However, it is crucial to note that despite reports about the link between head injuries and dementia there has been little research in this particular area and few case studies.
Therefore, the present evidence regarding the risk of dementia development in sports players remains ambiguous. Furthermore, there is the opinion that concussion and mild head injuries would only contribute to a marginal risk in dementia.
Objectively, the fact remains that any trauma to the head has the potential to result in health consequences and that contact sports serve to increase this risk. Therefore, there is a sensible argument in reducing the risk of potential head injuries within the parameters of various contact sports.
Please note: Our support is specific for carers and their caring role. There are other organisations which can help with understanding dementia, including:
National Dementia Helpline – 0300 222 1122
For more information visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
Dementia Helpline – 0800 888 6678
For more information visit https://www.dementiauk.org/