Studying at the University of Stirling with Dr Magdalena Ietswaart and Professor Lindsay Wilson and the Magstim Company Ltd, this is a demanding PhD as the project employs multiple cutting-edge methods in an experimental approach. The project requires extensive innovation developed as part of a multi-disciplinary team. You will, therefore, have input and support from different fields: neuroscience, neuropsychology, medicine, and physics. Working on this project is for candidates who relish the (technical) challenges of monitoring neural processes in the real-world using a range of brain technologies in new and innovative ways.
It was recently shown that there is a link between football and dementia. This follows on from our previous findings at the University of Stirling which showed that when a footballer headed a ball there were acute effects on memory and measurable changes to brain functioning, linking to brain health. There is a lack of direct evidence for the biological and functional consequences of such routine head impact in sport. This project aims to provide direct evidence at a brain-level.
The effects of football heading on measures of brain health will be evaluated. We will assess football players before and after heading the ball using state-of-the-art markers of brain health, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, innovative precision brain imaging, and fluid biomarkers associated with brain injury, each looking at the neuro-chemical changes as a direct result of heading the ball. These chemical changes are of relevance to understanding the link between dementia and football.