We’ve all heard of football players (that’s “soccer players” for US listeners) tearing their hamstrings, spraining their ankles, and injuring their knees. But could all that heading of the football, whether or not it causes a concussion, be having a subtler but much more damaging long-term effect on the player’s brain?
In this episode of The Studies Show, Tom and Stuart—the latter of whom, as you’ll discover, is not a massive fan of sport in general—discuss research on whether playing the nation’s favourite sport might lead to dementia in later life. If it does, how does it happen? And is playing football worthwhile regardless?
The Studies Show is sponsored by Works in Progress, an online magazine filled with longform essays on science, technology, and human progress. How do we encourage people to support economic growth? How did Mexico build its state in the 19th Century? And why did it take so long to develop a malaria vaccine? These are just some of the topics covered in the most recent issue.
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University of Edinburgh profile page for Prof. Alan Carson, with links to his publications on concussion and sport and related topics
Scotland bans football players from heading the ball a day before and a day after a game
2012 study on “neurodegenerative causes of death” among US NFL players
The FIELD study: 2019 study on causes of death among Scottish football players
2019 review of possible mechanisms for why brain injuries might lead to dementia
“The pig as a preclinical traumatic brain injury model”
The “3 Rs”, to Replace, Reduce, and Refine animal research
The Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions.