Childhood adversities are a risk factor for poor neuropsychiatric health and dementia in former football players

Takeaway

  • Childhood family dysfunction could be a risk factor for dementia symptoms and poor neuropsychiatric health in later life in former professional football players.

Why this matters

  • Adverse childhood experiences, including neglect and abuse, have been linked to poor cognitive and mental health in adulthood, but the extent of the connection is unknown; this is one of the first studies to investigate the association of childhood abuse and family dysfunction with dementia.

  • These findings suggest that in former players with a history of family dysfunction, treatment of psychological trauma may improve cognitive and psychological functioning; in addition, these players may be at increased risk of concussion.