This week’s headline news story is that a long-awaited study looking into the links between heading the ball whilst playing football and brain damage will start in January 2018. The news was announced by the Football Association this week..
Elsewhere, a new study has claimed that using mouthwash twice a day increases a person’s chances of contracting diabetes by 50%. These findings come from a team of scientists in the US, who say using over the counter mouthwash significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
We end this week’s article with positive news from Bury. Two NHS walk-in centres have been saved from closure this week after more than 5000 people signed a petition to help save them.
Football and Brain Damage Study
The Football Association (FA) have announced that a study looking into the links between heading a football and brain damage will begin in January. The long-awaited study will be led by Dr Willie Stewart, a neurosurgeon who claimed that former England striker Jeff Astle died from a brain condition caused by repeated head trauma.
Mr Astle died in 2002, at the age of 59, after developing dementia. The inquest into his death found that repeatedly heading heavy, leather footballs had contributed to trauma to his brain. After the inquest, research was commissioned by the FA and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) but it was later dropped because of what were said to be technical flaws.
The FA and the PFA appointed Dr. Stewart for independent research in March. His study will be titled “Football’s Influence on Lifelong Health and Dementia Risk.”
Speaking of the study, Dr. Stewart told the BBC:
“In the past decade there have been growing concerns about the perceived increased risk of dementia through participation in contact sports, however, research data to support and quantify this risk have been lacking.”
This news follows a special BBC documentary, Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football and Me, which highlighted the case of Jeff Astle. Shearer believes that this study being announced is a huge day for football.
Can mouthwash increase the Risk of Diabetes?
According to a new study in America, using mouthwash twice a day can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50%. The author of the study, Professor Kamudi Joshipura, claims that mouthwash kills helpful as well as harmful bacteria, and destroys those that protect against diabetes and obesity.
“Most of these antibacterial ingredients in mouthwash are not selective. In other words, they do not target specific oral bacteria. Instead, these ingredients can act on a broad range of bacteria [including the protective ones].”
A study released earlier this year made found that some mouth bacteria helps to protect against both diabetes and obesity.
The team of scientists found that the risk was heightened for all mouthwash users, regardless of sex, weight or diet. Leading experts here in the UK have said that it is too early to comment on whether dropping mouthwash could help protect against the risk of diabetes.
Two NHS Walk-In Centres Saved
Two NHS walk-in centres in Bury have been saved following a backlash from local residents. Both centres faced the axe in a bid to save £800,000, but this news prompted an angry response from the local community.
More than 5000 people signed a petition against the closure in September 2016 and claimed that both centres were vital for those unable to get a doctor’s appointment or those who did not want to clog up A&E wards.
Both the Prestwich Walk-in Centre and Moorgate Primary Care Centre are used by thousands of people. At the time, Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) claimed that the two centres did not represent the best use of the tax payer’s money.
However, they have now said that both will be saved until ‘beyond March 2018’. In the announcement tweet, the CCG said:
“The two current Walk-in Centre services in Bury and Prestwich will continue to provide existing services beyond March 2018, whilst the future model for urgent care is developed.”
Although the long-term future is still uncertain, those who campaigned against the closures have hailed it as a major development. Services at the Radcliffe Primary Care Centre will also be expanded, to include a new Health and Social Care Hub with walk-in facilities.