7Sports app

Study strengthens link between concussion and brain damage

Yahoo!7 February 17, 2013, 4:00 pm

A new study has revealed football players are at high risk of brain damage, dementia and depression due to repeated head injuries.

The study from the United States is the latest to make the link between concussion and brain conditions and could leave professional football codes in Australia vulnerable to legal action.

The study has already seen over 4000 former gridiron players sue the National Football League for damages.

Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles performed brain scans on living ex-players to establish a link between head knocks and brain conditions.

Previous studies could only be conducted post mortem.

The research established players who had suffered multiple concussions during their career displayed high levels of the trace protein tau, which indicates a high risk of brain conditions.

Dr Samiul Sorrenti from the Rugby League Medical Officers Association says even the accumulation of minor concussions during a career can add up to a serious injury.

"The most important thing is that any contact with the head should be avoided," he told news.com.au.

"When the brain recoils forward it can cause micro-damage. If you get this repeatedly over a period of time it causes macro-damage.

"Premature dementia is the major thing that's going to worry us.

"What we don't want to see in 20 years time is ex-footballers having an increased incidence of dementia or other mental problems and when we look back - it was due to the number of injuries we have."

Former North Queensland Cowboys rugby league player Shaun Valentine has spoken openly about the long-term effects of concussion.

Valentine, who has pledged to donate his brain to research after his death, says he suffers severe memory loss after his career was cut short due to several severe head knocks.

Last year the National Rugby League outlawed the shoulder charge, which is a tackle that often results in heavy contact between a defender's shoulder and the attacking player's head.

The NRL's decision came after several shoulder charges last season resulted in heavy concussions.

Shoulder charges are already outlawed in rugby union.

The issue of concussions created headlines in the AFL last season when Adelaide Crows rested their star forward Kurt Tippett for three matches after he suffered three concussions in the space of five weeks.

Tippett has since moved clubs to premiers Sydney, who say Tippett's history of concussions was not a factor in their decision to sign him.

Newest First
Oldest First
Top Rated
Most Replies


  1. Ugnisaet07:01am Monday 18th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    They dont have to wait for old age, but funny stuff none the less.

  2. Justin Medley11:48pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    For Pete sake lets see the stats compered to work injuries or war. find sometime relevant to wright about not bloody garbage yahoo

    1 Reply
  3. Chris09:50pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    It's up to parents to decide. The risk is now documented. Choose tennis, swimming, rowing, or badmiton for christ sakes. Footie or Rugby and you are choosing to jeopardize you child for the sake of short term glory over the possibility of life long brain damage. As a parent, it's a no brainer for me. No sports with risk of brain injury.

    5 Replies
  4. Saynowrong09:44pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    RUDD NOT INTERESTED IN LABOR LEADERSHIP as he was over heard saying, Even if God was the leader of our party he couldn't save us now.

    6 Replies
  5. Beerwolf08:32pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Is this an NRL/AFL cover story? Funny how drugs do the same thing????

    1 Reply
  6. Belki08:22pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Oh dear dose this mean we should stop children from playing all sports ,heavy knocks to the head may cause NOT will definitly cause .Drug taking can cause more brain damage

    2 Replies
  7. greg08:15pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Funny, drug use has the same side effects.

  8. greg08:08pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    The only Carbon tax revolution will be when the Libs humiliate labor at the next election and then throw the Carbob cash grab out and replace it with something that actually helps the environment. Labor are truly Fecked now. Rudd won't even take the job as leader and I don't blame him

    2 Replies
  9. Areel07:35pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Is it that hard to look beyond lies and deceit of Liberal Governments and accept the enormous positivity of the carbon tax revolution ? It probably is for the Liberal minority. Alas , they stand to accept a CRUSHING defeat at the hands of my inspirational leader Ms Gillard. She is awesome , she is beautiful and she is incredibly brave and innovative. She us without doubt the greatest Prime Minister in Australian Political history. Mr Matheson is the luckiest man on the face if the earth. Kindest regards Areel

    5 Replies
  10. Areel07:28pm Sunday 17th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    My gorgeous and vivacious leader NEVER played a physical contact sport. Her mind and senses are in PERFECT WORKING ORDER. Ms Gillard GETS THINGS DONE !! The Carbon Tax Revolution is in full swing and mankind along with animals and fauna are feeling the gargantuan and enormous positive effects of it. Our planet is safe thanks to team Labor. Ms Gillard , I truly love you. Kindest regards Areel

    2 Replies