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Rugby, soccer, American football and cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, doctor’s opinion

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Ed Slater’s announcement shocked the oval ball world. And in Italy, the stories of Gianluca Signorini and Stefano Borgonovo shed light on the terrible truth of this disease. Let’s make an assessment of Dr. Cessana, Benetton Roget Sociologist

Francesco Palma

Ed Slater’s announcement shocked the rugby world. The 33-year-old from Gloucester has publicly stated that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as ALS), and the news — along with another shocking announcement from Ryan Jones, who has admitted suffering from early dementia — has reopened the safety debate. In the world of the oval ball. In Italy, the stories of footballers Gianluca Signorini and Stefano Borgonovo shed light on the terrible truth of this disease: it is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, severely disabling and fatal, affecting primarily the first and second motor neurons, that is, the neurons that allow us to move and regulate the activity of voluntary contraction of muscles .


If it is now ascertained with respect to certain diseases, such as dementia or encephalopathy, of an association with excessive trauma experienced on the job, then the discourse about ALS is more complex: “The studies conducted to date do not attest to a particular relationship between head trauma and ALS. Currently, several hypotheses have been advanced that take into account other problems related to the world of sports: from excessive fatigue with the use of drugs, to the possible presence of bacteria in the fields or chemicals in the treatment of grass surfaces, but nothing Dr. Marco Cesana said D., a physician of the Benetton rugby team, told Gazzetta Active that this is clearly related to the traumatic events.

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Links with professional sports

“It is also true – continues Dr. Sessana – that from an epidemiological point of view, there is a greater proportion of this type of disease in former professional athletes. However, when analyzing these data, it must be taken into account that ALS occurs mainly in men whose range Their ages are between 40 and 60, which is exactly the age of the former athlete: in Italy he can be mainly a football player, in the USA he is an American football player and in Great Britain a rugby player. ” The problem is clearly there, but we must be very careful not to confuse cases – just as dangerous – such as that of Ryan Jones, mainly associated with concussions, with diseases for which there unfortunately remains a thick veil of mystery: “We must realize that prevention is considered From head trauma and concussion a problem and a priority target for rugby – says Chisana in the conclusion -.There are diseases, such as early cognitive impairment, or chronic encephalopathy, whose true association with traumatic events has been shown. This is not the case for ALS, so boundaries must be drawn Obvious: they are two completely different things.

ALS in rugby

In rugby, ALS is primarily associated with the story of Doddie Weir: the Scottish rugby legend who – in 2016 – was diagnosed with what Borgonovo called “The Bitch”. Former second streak founders My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, a foundation dedicated to providing support and support to all rugby players affected by ALS and in research. Furthermore, as of 2018, the Six Nations match between Scotland and Wales is dedicated to the Doddie Weir Cup, and proceeds from the match have been donated in part to research on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Ware’s story has raised awareness of this dangerous disease, and as he struggles and copes with it every day, the former player remains on top, ensuring support and support for all his teammates.

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Van der Westhuizen and Battistin

We must not forget Joost Van der Westhuizen, the historic half of South Africa who revolutionized the role, winning the 1995 World Cup (as told by the Invictus movie) and earning 89 appearances with the Springboks. In 2011, at the age of 40, he was diagnosed with ALS, and spent the last six years of his life raising public awareness of his foundation, J9, before leaving in 2017. Alessandro “Lillo” Batistin, who passed away at the age of 52 after a battle, was forgotten by Alessandro “Lillo” Batistin. Long against a very aggressive form of the disease: After the diagnosis, a large streak of solidarity, involving former teammates, players and associations linked to rugby, began to accompany the ex-Petrarca player and policeman – and then youth coach – in this difficult battle until his death in 2018.

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