The Drake Foundation announces funding for research into concussion in association football

The Drake Foundation announces funding for research into concussion in association football

Since its inception in 2014, The Drake Foundation has committed over £1 million to UK-based research projects looking to expand our understanding of sports concussion. Today, The Drake Foundation announces its intention to commit a similar amount of funding over the next 18 months to projects investigating concussion in association football players.

The subject of concussion in sports has received ever-increasing attention over the last 3 years; however, many would argue, the science is yet to catch up with the media hype. Methods of detecting concussion during a game remain imperfect and need to be refined. In addition, evidence surrounding the potential long-term effects of concussion on brain health is growing, but causal links between the injuries sustained and neurodegenerative diseases – such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – are lacking.

In a study funded by The Drake Foundation and published in Acta Neuropathologica in February of this year, CTE was identified in four post-mortem brain examinations of former footballers. The Drake Foundation is now looking to build on this work, with studies being considered that hope to investigate the mechanisms of concussion in order to uncover potential therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers. Investigations into the brain health of former professional footballers are also being considered.

“Since forming in 2014, we have been proud to fund four ground-breaking studies in rugby union and association football,” commented Hannah Wilson, Programme Manager at The Drake Foundation. “This further funding commitment will allow us to build on the collaborations we’ve forged between leading neuroscientists and sports bodies and continue to grow our understanding of concussion and its long-term effects.”

The Drake Foundation anticipates the announcement of the first of these new studies before the end of the year.