Former footballers to be tested for early signs of dementia

Researchers at the University of East Anglia are ‘crowd-funding’ a new project to test former professional football players for early signs of dementia.

The UEA research team will be using what they say is ‘cutting-edge technology’ to test for early signs of dementia in men and women ‘that are identifiable long before any memory problems or other noticeable symptoms become apparent’. The University has launched a £1 million fundraising goal for this research, at least 10 per cent of which they hope will be crowd-funded.

Dr James Pickett, head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: 'Previous research has shown that there is an increased risk of professional footballers developing dementia. However, reasons for this have only ever been speculated on. In this new study, researchers will take the next step to understand changes to the brain as footballers age. For research to progress we need more people to take part, so it’s great to see former professional football players joining this project for their brain health to be monitored over time.

'Dementia research not only needs professional footballers to take part, but people from all walks of life. We have hundreds of active research projects, many of which can be found through our partner Join Dementia Research. People’s interests can be matched to suitable studies, and it’s free and easy to take part.'