RFU release BRAIN study video

06.06.2018

IOM is a partner in the BRAIN study is a major scientific study of former England rugby internationals, examining the possible long-term effects of the game on brain health and the possible link between a history of concussion and neurodegenerative disease in former rugby players.

The project partners including IOM are the RFU, and leading academics from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, University College London and Oxford University.

The RFU is today releasing a video explaining the study. You can view the video here.

The in-depth research is gathering data on the retired players’ quality of life and social circumstances and asks them to complete an extensive set of tests capturing physical and cognitive capabilities and a neurological clinical examination. The study involves face-to-face assessments either in a clinic setting or during home visits. 

Evidence is accumulating on the possible increased risks of neurodegenerative diseases including Dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Dementia and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in former contact sports athletes.

Different sports expose players to different types of head impact events. While results from several studies have suggested an increased risk of various neurological disorders, this has not yet been established, and this study represents an opportunity to provide an evidence-based, high-quality study of a large group of former rugby players.

To find out further information you can email BRAINstudy@lshtm.ac.uk or call 07949 533818 to book an assessment.

Follow #BRAINstudy for more project updates.

About the Author
Prof Damien McElvenny Principal Epidemiologist

Damien is a biostatistician and epidemiologist working in the Data Science and Epidemiology Section of Research Division and is a chartered statistician and chartered scientist.  He has over 30 years' experience working in a variety roles relating to the statistical analysis of health data in the public and private sector.  .  Damien joined IOM in 2011 and has successfully led projects related to cancer in the lead, rubber and hard-metal industries as well as projects on trauma and cancer.  He has led a number of consultancy projects, including medico-legal reports on occupational epidemiology.  Damien is IOM's lead for the BRAIN and HEADING studies that are examining the effect of concussion and heading football on elite and professional athletes.  He is secretary of the UK/Ireland Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Society and Secretary of the EPIOCH Management Committee.  He is an Honorary Member of the Society of Occupational Medicine.

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