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SBD Global/August 18, 2014/International Football

Dyke Commits To Head Injury Research Amid Fears Of Dementia Among Former Footballers

FA Chair Greg Dyke "committed to funding independent research into head injuries in the sport amid growing concerns over an alarmingly high incidence of dementia among former professional players," according to Sam Peters of the London DAILY MAIL. Dyke met the family of former England striker Jeff Astle -- who died in '02 aged 59 from early on-set dementia which a coroner found was caused by heading footballs -- and he apologized for the FA's and Professional Footballers' Association's "failure to deliver promised research while providing assurances more will be done to tackle the problem." This week "it emerged that as many as six of Aston Villa’s 1957 FA Cup winning side may have died suffering from dementia while the Mail on Sunday has also been inundated with calls and letters from families of ex-professionals with the disease." In June, Professor Willie Stewart, a world-leading neuropathologist who accompanied Astle’s family to Wembley to meet Dyke last week, "re-examined the former West Bromwich Albion striker’s brain and confirmed he died from chronic traumatic encephalopathy" -- a form of dementia caused by repeated head injuries and found in former boxers, American footballers and rugby players. Stewart said, "This is potentially a significant public health issue and needs to be treated as such" (DAILY MAIL, 8/16).
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