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Sports injuries 'could be cause of dementia'

Sports injuries 'could be cause of dementia'
27th July 2011

Those participating in sports in which head injuries are likely to occur could be more at risk of needing dementia care later in life.

That is according to researchers at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, whose new study reveals a link between single head injuries and the likelihood of Alzheimer's developing.

Some 33 per cent of those who survive a sports-related head injury into old age become dementia patients, indicating that such incidences could help to accelerate the degenerative disease.

Dr Willie Stewart, consultant neuropathologist at the hospital, said: "A proportion of patients with a single head injury had widespread and large amounts of markers in their brains which are normally only seen in the very elderly or in patients with Alzheimer's disease."

Another study conducted at Loyola University Health System recently indicated that former sportspeople could be at an elevated risk of mild cognitive impairment, a potential precursor to Alzheimer's disease.

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