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Playing football linked to increased risk for Parkinson's disease, says study

Playing football linked to increased risk for Parkinsons disease, says study

San Francisco: A recent study has revealed that individuals who have participated in organized tackle football in the past face a 61 percent higher likelihood of reporting Parkinsonism or receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD).

This progressive disorder impacts the nervous system and the bodily functions regulated by nerves.

Conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine in the United States, the research indicates that the risk of developing Parkinson's disease escalates with the number of years spent playing football, extending to those who played in high school and college.

In this study, the researchers evaluated 1,875 sport participants -- 729 men who played football, predominantly at the amateur level, and 1,146 men who played non-football sports who served as the control group.

Also Read: BP, a silent killer; one in four adults in India suffers from hypertension

The researchers found a link between playing football and increased odds of having a Parkinsonism or PD diagnosis even after accounting for known risk factors for PD.

Additionally, the data revealed that players with longer careers and higher levels of competition were more likely to have a reported diagnosis of Parkinsonism or PD.

Football players who played at the college or professional level were at 2.93 increased odds of having a PD diagnosis compared with those who just played at the youth or high school level, according to the study.

"Playing tackle football could be a contributing risk factor to PD, particularly among people already at risk due to other factors (e.g., family history). However, the reasons for this relationship are not clear and we also know that not everyone who plays tackle football will develop later-life neurological conditions, meaning many other risk factors are at play," said corresponding author Michael L Alosco, PhD, associate professor of neurology at Boston University.

The researchers acknowledge several limitations to their findings and caution that the work is still preliminary.

With inputs from agencies

Also Read: Centre assures examination of 'havana syndrome' issue in India

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