New PhD scholarship - Physiological implications of repetitive head impact in contact sports; the link to accelerated brain ageing

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Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales. The successful applicant will join the Neurovascular Research Laboratory, based at the Pontypridd campus in South Wales.

Sports-related concussion represents a significant and growing public health concern yet remains one of the least understood injuries facing the wider health community today. An increasing number of retired athletes with a history of concussion suffer from neurological complications, including cognitive impairment and depression, established risk factors that can lead to neurodegeneration in later life. Research has suggested that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a form of dementia only observed in those with a history of repetitive head trauma, is a potentially late and under recognised consequence of participation in contact sports.

Recently published work by our group has identified key mechanisms underlying increased susceptibility to neurodegeneration in contact sports, including associated biomarkers that may prove useful in terms of future prevention. The current PhD studentship serves to extend these important findings and explore the functional interactions between molecular, cerebrovascular, and clinical biomarkers in formerly concussed middle-aged (30-60 years) rugby players.

Supervisors: Professor Damian Bailey, Dr Tom Owens, Dr Chris Marley

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For informal discussions about the research, please contact Professor Damian Bailey.
For application enquiries, please contact Jane MacCuish.