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Rugby Career Length Linked to CTE Risk

18 December 2023   |   Gyrus Group

Researchers at the University of Glasgow continue to build on their evidence of sports-related brain injuries and future risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Researchers analysed the donated brains of 23 amateur and 8 professional rugby players. Players had an average rugby career spanning 18 years, and were on average 60 years old when they died. The study found that 68% of brains donated showed ‘traces’ of CTE, and that risk of CTE increased by 14% for every additional year of rugby played. Prof Tara Spires-Jones (Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh), who was not involved in the study, comments that the strongest evidence for CTE and rugby still comes from professional athletes, and that “physical activity generally is associated with lower risk of dementias”. You can read the study here and find reporting from the BBC here.