Football on field

Today, Alzheimer Scotland has responded to widely reported news that the Scottish FA is planning a move towards placing a ban on children heading the football in training. This comes after recent research uncovered a possible link between playing football and developing dementia, or other neurodegenerative diseases, in later life.

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “Alzheimer Scotland supports the decision of the Scottish FA to take this proactive measure to avoid any potential and unnecessary risk to young footballers. Our position has always been that an evidence based approach to policy and risk reduction within football is essential. It is clear to us that this current announcement has been informed by the recent high quality evidence gathered by the FIELD study, which was led by Dr Willie Stewart.

“We recognise that there is a continuing need for ongoing, properly commissioned and funded research, in order to fully understand the risks associated with participation in football and other sports. This must be balanced with the benefits of taking part in these sports and our aim must be to protect the long term brain health of participants.

“Alzheimer Scotland will continue to do all that we can to support this vital area of dementia research and prevention. If you have any questions about dementia and of the local support and services available in your area call Alzheimer Scotland’s Freephone 24-Hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000.”