Neurodegenerative disease in female football players

Is there an increased risk for for developing neurodegenerative disease in former football players? According to previous research there seems to be an association between contact sports and neurodegeneration, however the causation has yet to be established.


Formal title

Neurodegenerative disease in female football players


The aim of the project is to investigate if there is an increased risk for neurodegenerative disease in former female football players.


Female football players who were active on an elite level in the 90's will be invited to participate. The study protocol include advanced MRI of the brain, neuropsychological testing, blood samples, a clinical neurological examination, and questionnaires on the football career and medical history. In addition, former athletes from non-contact sports will be used as controls. In this project comparisons will be made between former football players and former athletes from non-contact sports. However, we are also planning on doing follow-up studies after 5, 10, and 20 years. Is there a difference in current brain health and brain ageing in former football players and former non-contact athletes? Does frequency of heading and concussions/head trauma have long-term effects brain health (symptoms, neuropsychological test results, alterations on MRI and/or in blood tests)?