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OBJECTIVE: The BRAIN Study was established to assess the associations between self-reported concussions and cognitive function among retired rugby players. METHODS: Former elite-level male rugby union players (50+ years) in England were recruited. Exposure to rugby-related concussion was collected using the BRAIN-Q tool. The primary outcome measure was the Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite (PACC). Linear regressions were conducted for the association between concussion and PACC score, adjusting for confounders. RESULTS: A total of 146 participants were recruited. The mean (standard deviation) length of playing career was 15.8 (5.4) years. A total of 79.5% reported rugby-related concussion(s). No association was found between concussion and PACC (β -0.03 [95% confidence interval (CI): -1.31, 0.26]). However, participants aged 80+ years reporting 3+ concussions had worse cognitive function than those without concussion (β -1.04 [95% CI: -1.62, -0.47]). CONCLUSIONS: Overall there was no association between concussion and cognitive function; however, a significant interaction with age revealed an association in older participants.

Original publication




Journal article


Alzheimers dement

Publication Date





1164 - 1176


cognitive function, occupational epidemiology, rugby, sports-related concussion, Aged, Athletic Injuries, Brain Concussion, Cognition, Football, Humans, Male, Rugby