Contact sports: About the roundtable

Find out more about the experts roundtable and references used to produce this information on contact sports, head injuries and dementia risk. 

About the roundtable

The roundtable was held on 26 April 2017 at the head officers of Alzheimer's Society:

Alzheimer’s Society
43-44 Crutched Friars
London, EC3N 2AE

Attendees

Steve Gentleman, Imperial College London
Professor of Neuropathology in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London. Over the past 20 years he has run an active research team investigating the pathology of neurodegenerative disease and traumatic brain injury. Steve is a member of Alzheimer’s Society Research Strategy Council.

Eef Hogervorst, University of Loughborough
Professor of Psychology with research interests in modifiable risk and protective factors (e.g. hormones, exercise and nutrition) for dementia and age-related cognitive decline; development and validation of cognitive tests and computerized diagnostic systems.

Janice Holton, UCL
Honorary Consultant and Professor in Neuropathology and Director of Neuropathology at the Queen Square Brain Bank

David Llewellyn, University of Exeter 
David is a Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Exeter 

David Menon, University of Cambridge
Professor and Head of the Division of Anaesthesia, Principal Investigator in the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, and Co-Chair of the Acute Brain Injury Programme at the University of Cambridge. His research and clinical work focuses on more severe forms of head injury. 

Huw Morris, UCL
Consultant Neurologist and Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the Royal Free Hospital, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCL Institute of Neurology.

James Pickett, Alzheimer’s Society
Head of Research 

Louise Walker, Alzheimer’s Society
Research communications officer

Eleanor Green, Alzheimer’s Society
Media lead for policy and research 
 

Other references

Barnes DE et al. Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans. Neurology. 2014 Jul 22;83(4):312-9

A retrospective cohort study of 188,764 US veterans aged 55 years or older who had at least one inpatient or outpatient visit during both the baseline (2000-2003) and follow-up (2003-2012) periods and did not have a dementia diagnosis at baseline. During the 9-year follow-up period, 16% of those with TBI developed dementia compared with 10% of those without TBI. 

Crane PK et al. Association of Traumatic Brain Injury With Late-Life Neurodegenerative Conditions and Neuropathologic Findings. JAMA Neurol. 2016 Sep 1;73(9):1062-9.

Ling H et al. Mixed pathologies including chronic traumatic encephalopathy account for dementia in retired association football (soccer) players. Acta Neuropathol. 2017 Mar;133(3):337-352. 

Autopsy case series of 14 former footballers diagnosed with dementia. The study showed a range of different pathology, including 4 cases of CTE by current consensus guidelines. This finding was reported to be probably related to their past prolonged exposure to repetitive head impacts from head-to-player collisions and heading the ball. 

McIntosh AS et al. Does padded headgear prevent head injury in rugby union football? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Feb;41(2):306-13. 

An Australian based study which looked at the rate of concussion/ head injury in 4,000 players (30,000 playing hours) and concluded no benefit to those wearing padded headgear. 

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