Study links head shocks to brain damage

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Study finds link between head shocks and brain damage

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Athletes who play contact sports are 68 times more likely to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy than others, according to a study.

Research by a team of international experts has revealed that people who play contact sports such as football, rugby and soccer are at a significantly high risk of developing degenerative brain diseases, according to a statement released Tuesday.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation said a study by experts from universities in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Britain found conclusive evidence that repeated shocks to the head cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The researchers said the brain banks of the US Department of Defense, Boston University, the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Mayo Clinic had all published studies showing that athletes practicing contact sports were 68 times more likely to develop CTE than others.

This groundbreaking analysis gives us the greatest scientific confidence that repeated impacts to the head cause the head to erupt. ETC, said Chris Nowinski, chief executive of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and lead author of the study.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation wants more sports organizations worldwide to recognize the causal link between head impacts and ETC.

If the American Centers for Concussion Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Football League (NFL) have previously acknowledged this link, organizations such as FIFA, World Rugby and the IOC have not, the Foundation points out. /p>

It's time to include repetitive head trauma and CTE among child protection efforts like exposure to lead, mercury, smoking and sunburn, a said Adam Finkel, professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan.

The research comes as more sports take steps to limit contact with the head.

Last week, the English FA was given permission to test the removal of head contact in low-level competitions and leagues. Similar rules have been in effect in the United States since 2015 in youth soccer.

In rugby, England's World Cup winner Steve Thompson and former Wales rugby international Alix Popham have started legal action against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union for failing to protect them from the risk of concussion.

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