World Rugby and numerous top independent specialists have informed current and former players showing signs of early onset dementia after frequent head blows that 11 other factors such as depression, excessive alcohol intake, or improper nutrition could explain their declining brain health.
World Rugby has launched a global brain health education campaign in collaboration with the International Rugby Players Association in response to growing concerns about long-term player welfare, which has prompted a legal case against the world’s governing body, the Rugby Football Union, and the Welsh Rugby Union.
Even the tiniest hint from rugby’s governing body that dementia symptoms may be caused by players’ lifestyle choices rather than impacts sustained during matches or training will enrage those who believe rugby is to blame for their problems. The problem is that chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused only by repetitive head knocks, can only be properly proven by a postmortem examination.
The new initiative, which is aimed at professional players past and present, was presented at the World Rugby medical commission conference in London. The world governing body says it wants to “educate and support” current and former elite players who are concerned about their health, and it will provide free access to brain health clinics where they may receive professional consultation, clinical examination, and counseling.
source : Guardian sport