—- Today (Tuesday 7 January) sees the University of East Anglia (UEA) announce a new study to test memory and thinking skills in former professional football players to see if they show any cognitive changes due to concussions and head injuries.

Dr Carol Routledge, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “Recent research has highlighted an increased risk of dementia in ex-professional footballers, but we don’t yet know the cause of this association. It’s not yet clear whether, or how, football may need to change to address this risk and we continue to call for further research to begin to answer some of these unanswered questions.

“This new study looking for early signs of dementia is a positive step forward for dementia research and the wider football community. It’s encouraging to see this study focus on ex-professional women footballers as well as former male players, as there has so far been little research in this population.

“Only through a sustained investment in dementia research will we keep people connected to their families, their worlds and themselves for longer.

“If you have any questions about this study, or dementia research in general, contact Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Dementia Research Infoline on 0300 111 5 111.”


For further information, or to speak with Dr Carol Routledge, please contact Ed Pinches, Science Communications Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5 666, or email press@alzheimersresearchuk.org 

Notes to editors:

  • Our animation “What is dementia?” explains the essentials of dementia and the diseases that cause it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HobxLbPhrMc
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading charity specialising in finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia.
  • To help make breakthroughs possible, donate today by visiting www.alzheimersresearchuk.org or calling 0300 111 5555.
  • We are currently supporting pioneering dementia research projects worth nearly £34 million in leading Universities across the UK.
  • How can we challenge perceptions of dementia using only an orange? Find out more at www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/orange and help us share a better understanding about dementia. #ShareTheOrange
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