- Links between concussion and conditions including Alzheimer’s in NFL
- Rugby forced to contemplate the possibility of similar connection
- Former Scotland captain Chris Paterson on of several stars to sign upÂ
The Scottish Rugby Union are urging all former international players to take part in a ground-breaking study set up to investigate the long-term effects on the brain of playing the sport.Â Â
Research into American Football has shown former players are four times more likely to suffer conditions such as Alzheimerâs and Motor Neurone Disease â which sparked the Ice Bucket Challenge online phenomenon. There are fears rugby and other contact sports could also be at risk.
Rugby authorities have attempted to play down parallels with the NFL, insisting helmeted sports cannot be compared with non-helmeted ones, but there is mounting evidence rugby has a comparable concussion rate to American Football.
Leading by example: Former Scotland captain Chris Paterson is one of several players who have signed up
Progress: Dr James Robson has played a huge part in the SRU’s work to bring in better safety measures
The SRU, led by the highly-regarded Dr James Robson, have been at the forefront of driving concussion safety measures and the latest attempt to set up a detailed study led by researchers at Glasgow University is set to be copied by other unions, including the RFU.
Former Scotland captain Chris Paterson is one of several players who has already signed up to the study.
âOur sport is doing everything it can to lead the way on understanding concussion for future generations at all levels of the game,â Paterson said.
Star man: Paterson scored over 800 points for Scotland during a long and successful international career
The International Rugby Board established a trial in Auckland more than two years ago which was meant to be published last September. So far no data has been presented despite promises from chief executive Brett Gosper that there âwill be no cover upâ.
Similar studies in football have also failed to deliver any meaningful data.
âIt is very encouraging to see our unions actively engaged in assisting research into head injuries and I would appeal to former elite players to come forward and take part in this University of Glasgow study, which is being supported by the Scottish RU,â said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
Very encouraging: IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset called on other international players to take part
Article source: http://www.espnscrum.com/wales/rugby/story/210181.html
Scotland rugby chiefs urge ex-internationals to help future players by ...