Dame Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport and Chair of the Culture, Media & Sport Committee, has urged greater action from football associations on dealing with the higher prevalence of dementia amongst professional footballers.
New research from the University of Nottingham has found that former professional footballers are at a heightened risk of developing dementia, with increased chances of almost three and a half times that of the general population.
This puts players at an occupational risk of developing the condition which has a significantly detrimental impact on a person’s cognitive ability, and quality of life.
The government published their concussions guidance last April, which Caroline praised in the Chamber as progress in tackling the issue.
She also used todays debate to welcome the £1 million Brain Health Fund, introduced this month by the Professional Footballers’ Association and Premier League to assist former players and their loved one’s impacted by a dementia diagnosis.
But urged that further support should be put in place.
In the debate, Caroline said:
“A dementia diagnosis is more than a diagnosis for the individual concerned, it is a diagnosis for their entire families and their friends as well.
“It is World Alzheimer’s month, and this £1 million health fund is a really important step forward, but there are 55,000 former male and female professional footballers in England alone.
“That needs to be merely a starting point in the work that the various football associations need to put in order to try and tackle and support this issue.”
Caroline currently serves as the Chair of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee in the House of Commons since May of this year. She has also previously served as a Minister of State in the Department of Health & Social Care from January 2018 until February 2020.