I can only remember four times when I was out cold but there were hundreds of occasions when I got knocked on the head and would be rolling or stumbling around. Moody admits that the possibility of neurological problems in the future is a concern for him. Earlier this year, Dr Willie Stewart, a Glasgow-based consultant, became the first neuropathologist to identify a link between rugby players and early onset dementia. No, not at the moment. Problems: Brian O'Driscoll is concerned about the possible link between multiple head traumas and long-term brain damage.
It is that simple. Last week Stewart and Peter Robinson, whose year-old son, Ben, died from a condition known as Second-Impact Syndrome while playing rugby in , met Scottish education minister Mike Russell and minister for sport Shona Robison to call for more compulsory concussion training in schools.
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The Scottish Rugby Union has been more progressive than most governing bodies in their approach to concussion. Inquest: Father Peter Robinson met with met Scottish education minister Mike Russell and minister for sport Shona Robison to call for more compulsory concussion training in schools. That is something Moody also feels passionately about after being shocked at the lack of medical facilities available when he watched his brother-in-law play for a club side earlier this season. Nothing beats rugby as a sport. But rugby is a contact sport and where there is contact, there is a risk of concussion.
We have known for years that boxing carried a high risk of concussive injuries and research has shown that a percentage of boxers can go on to develop degenerative neurological illnesses. However, in the past decade we have become increasingly aware that the same sort of brain pathology can also be recognised in other sports where athletes are exposed to head injury at high levels, including rugby. The research, led by Boston University, has brought to the fore the link between American Football and early onset dementia.
It has, in my view, provided a wake-up call for all contact sports, including rugby. As awareness over this issue has increased, I have been approached by people who have fathers, husbands, family members and friends with early onset dementia, which they have always suspected was caused by playing rugby.
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Now medical evidence is beginning to support the anecdotal evidence. But we have many unanswered questions regarding this link.
Far more research is required. A second head injury, coming before the brain has properly recovered, can be much more severe. Your brain is you - your intellect, your personality, your sense of humour. It cannot be replaced. Moody: We used to treat concussion as a joke World Cup winner: Moody celebrates after beating Australia in Share this article Share.
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