Rugby and the dementia dilemma: The series

A Herald investigation has found that five men from a single Ranfurly Shield-winning rugby team have been diagnosed with dementia. Their families attribute their conditions to concussions suffered during their playing days.
Neil Wolfe, dementia sufferer and All Black, at his home in New Plymouth. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Neil Wolfe, dementia sufferer and All Black, at his home in New Plymouth. Photo / Brett Phibbs

HAVE YOU GOT A STORY ABOUT RUGBY AND DEMENTIA? EMAIL THE HERALD

Part One: The connection between rugby and dementia

The Herald has uncovered a spate of dementia cases among rugby legends, raising the ugly possibility that head injuries suffered during their playing days have contributed to the disease.

READ:
Rugby and dementia: The full story
Head blows behind illness, say families
Team of '64 'revered in the province'
Your views: Should high school rugby games be 'touch' instead of tackle?
Whose job it is to look after them?

WATCH:
Rugby Players' Association Head Rob Nichol
Michael Collins - Dementia cases 'terribly sad'
The Vent: We'll hear a lot more dementia cases

Part Two: Medical experts speak out

Top UK neurologists and other medical experts are increasingly seeing persuasive evidence of a link between rugby and dementia.

READ:
Ex-Lion adamant on dementia link
Best of mates bonded by sad decline

Part Three: Future compensation

ACC says it's "quite likely" there will be treatment claims in the future for concussion-caused chronic conditions like dementia.

READ:
ACC bracing for claims
Concussion leads to increased risk of suicide
Midweek fixture with Dylan Cleaver: This is not an anti-rugby story

WATCH:
Former team doctor Donald MacLeod on the long-term effects of playing rugby

Part Four: Rugby boss responds

New Zealand Rugby says the issue of concussion and potential related long-term health consequences remains complicated with no definitive answers.

READ:
NZ Rugby keeping focus on today's players
Rugby boss Steve Tew on dementia: 'It is an incredibly sensitive topic'

WATCH:
Interview with NZ Rugby Union CEO on head injuries

Part Five:

We associate dementia with ageing but there are times this debilitating condition hits hard and hits early.

READ:
Frustrating lapses warned loved ones all was not well
Possible links between head-knocks and dementia 'of interest'

WATCH:
Impact on family

- NZ Herald

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