Football chiefs to receive landmark dementia study findings next week

Landmark dementia study on the dangers of heading will release its findings next week with English football chiefs set to review the data ahead of possible rule changes for the 2021-22 season

  • A landmark dementia study of heading in football is set to be released next week
  • The data will be used ahead of possible rule changes to be made for next season
  • Players have been wearing special mouthguards as part of the research  

English football chiefs are set to receive findings of a landmark study on the dangers of heading the ball as early as next week. 

Doctors and key decision-makers will then use the data when considering possible rule changes for the 2021-22 season.

As revealed by Sportsmail, academy and women players at Liverpool and Manchester City have spearheaded research into how heading a football different distances can have differing impacts on the brain. 

A landmark study into heading in English football is set to be released next week

Players have worn specially fitted PROTECHT mouthguards which, through a chip inserted into the gumshield, provide live data on the force of blows to the head.

The study, led by the Premier League’s medical advisor Dr Mark Gillett and slated to end this week, will help authorities decide what — if any — limits on heading in training are needed.

Experts have told Sportsmail they consider 20 headers per session a suitable limit, with a minimum of 48 hours between these sessions. These became key demands of this newspaper’s campaign to tackle football’s dementia problem.

The data from the research carried out on players will be used ahead of possible rule changes

Any guidelines will be agreed by the Premier League, the FA, EFL, Women’s Super League, League Managers’ Association and PFA as well as clubs, players, managers and medics.

It is hoped they can be brought in at professional and adult grassroots level for next season.

Research has already found footballers are three-and-a-half times more likely to die from degenerative brain diseases such as dementia. Studies suggest even 20 headers per session can affect brain function.

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