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Former Welsh rugby captain diagnosed with early onset dementia
Ryan Jones, who led Wales to Grand-Slam winning victory, has revealed he has been diagnosed with early onset dementia.
The former professional rugby player said he had also received the diagnosis of probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) late last year.
CTE is a brain injury that is progressive, meaning it only occurs several years after having repeated head injuries or concussions. We recently posted a blog all about this type of brain injury which you can read here.
Specialists informed him that his was one of the worst cases they have ever seen and so Jones has joined a legal action against rugby's governing bodies, uncluding World Rugby. This comes only weeks after the body extended the length of time a player has to stand down from play after suffering a head injury to 12 days.
Gary Herbert, Partner in personal injury at Potter Rees Dolan, said:
Having spent many happy days following Wales under the leadership of Ryan Jones (and having a signed photograph of him on my wall which has drawn many comments through lockdown) it is especially sad to hear of the difficulties that he is having. What strikes me as most concerning about his interview is the absence of support that he reports and how he feels uncertain where to turn for help.
As a solicitor specialising in representing clients with brain injury I know the difference that a multi-disciplinary team of Case Managers, Neuropsychologists, Neuropsychiatrists, Neuro Occupational Therapists, Neurophysiotherapists and Dieticians can make. They can provide practical guidance, support and scaffolding to help people with brain damage function to the best of their ability. With the increasing incidence of such injuries it would seem sensible for the rugby authorities to engage a team of professionals immediately to support former players as they embark on their uncertain futures.
Gary Herbert is a Partner in personal injury here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about a head injury in sport or indeed any other aspect of personal injury and wish to speak to Gary or any other member of the team, please contact us on 0800 027 2557 or contact Gary directly.