Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in sport is sometimes hard to prevent. The overall risk of dementia in individuals with a history of TBI was 24 percent higher than those without a history of TBI, after accounting for other risk factors for the disease in a recent review of nearly 2.8 million patient cases in Denmark (Fann, et al. May 2018 The Lancet Psychiatry).
A single TBI characterized as severe increased the risk by 35 percent; a single "mild" TBI or concussion increased the risk by 17 percent (Fann, et al. May 2018 The Lancet Psychiatry).
Some organisations have taken steps to prevent the number of TBI's happening in sport including US Soccer who have banned heading a football for children under the age of 10. UEFA are also considering taking this type of action depending on the outcome of their current research.
But many former athletes are currently suffering the unnerving, ill effects of dementia and quality of life can be negatively affected.