Many ex-players have spoken about the affects concussion can have in later life

Retired players who had concussion more likely to have depression, according to study

A study has found retired players who suffered with concussions are more likely to become depressed or anxious.

Rugby union and league athletes were a part of the study. It found if they had five or more concussions they were almost twice as likely to have poor mental health. Stars who had three or more concussions were also more likely to have depression or irritability.

The results from the athletes were compared to non-contact athletes and amateur players.

Former Wales player Alix Popham didn’t take part in the study but has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. He said: “The evidence from this research correlates with our lived experience from talking to and supporting members of the rugby family currently struggling following their professional careers.”

What change has the concussion discussion made?

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee called for a minimum concussion protocol to be outlined by July 2022.

And it’s not just law changes and protocols that are to be brought in as former athletes are taking legal action. World Rugby is facing a concussion lawsuit.

Ten former players are taking action against England’s sporting governing body. And Bobbie Goulding, Paul Highton and Jason Roach, diagnosed with likely chronic traumatic encephalopathy, are suing Rugby Football League.

Dr Karen Hind, one of the minds behind the study by Durham University’s Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, has said: “These findings add to a growing body of evidence that can inform strategies to support player welfare. They shed further light on risks of repeated concussions.”

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