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Southgate to take part in research for links between football and dementia

England manager Gareth Southgate will take part in research trials looking into the potential links...
Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:19 PM - 29 Jan 2021



Southgate to take part in rese...

Sport

Southgate to take part in research for links between football and dementia

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:19 PM - 29 Jan 2021



England manager Gareth Southgate will take part in research trials looking into the potential links between dementia and former footballers.

Two different studies are examining ex-professionals for early signs of neurodegenerative disorders.

Southgate will be one of those to have their brain health investigated and has urged other former players to come forward, saying it's "essential" research to provide "valuable insight".

Southgate said: "This is an incredibly important issue in our game and I’m very happy to play my part in supporting this research.

"Having turned 50 last year, I am now eligible to take part in the HEADING study, which could provide crucial and valuable insight to help people who play the game now and in the future.

"I would encourage any former professional footballer who is willing and able to take part in the HEADING or the FOCUS study to do so.

"Our involvement is absolutely essential if we are to have a greater understanding of this issue; and their support for the studies can be done from their home, either online or over the phone."

The FA's Head of Medicine, Dr Charlotte Cowie, added: "Dementia is a debilitating disease across wider society, and we are doing everything we can to build a greater understanding of what causes the link between neurodegenerative disorders and former professional footballers.

"We have helped to make great strides in our knowledge and insight in this area, however our next step is a crucial one, and it’s not one that we can do alone. Simply-put, without the support and involvement of former professional footballers who are over the age of 50, it will be almost impossible to take our research and understanding to the next level.

"I’m very pleased that Gareth Southgate has agreed to support the HEADING study, which is being led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and I hope that it will give encouragement to other former professional footballers to take part in these important research studies as well."

The subject of dementia in former footballers has become more prominent in recent years with several members of England's 1966 World Cup-winning side having, or have had, the disease.



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