Ryan Jones diagnosed rugby dementia, ‘I’m terrified’

(ANSA) – LONDON, JUL 17 – Fears and anguish for a life that literally “is falling apart”, inevitably day after day, at just 41 years old: the dramatic confession is from former captain of the Welsh national rugby team, Ryan Jones , who was diagnosed with onset stage dementia a few months ago. Only the latest testimony of a long series of former professional rugby players who, following the violent blows suffered during their career, have developed more or less aggressive forms of neurodegenerative brain disease.

“I feel my world is falling apart – Jones’s Times story, 75 caps with Wales, and a member of the Lions team on the 2005 tour – I’m really scared because I have three children, and three more from my partner. and I want to be a great dad. I’ve lived 15 years of my life as a superhero, but I’m not. I don’t know what the future holds. “

An uncertainty erupted last December when Jones was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative brain disease that can occur after repeated head injury. “I am the product of an environment that is all about human performance.

I would just like to lead a happy, healthy and normal life, but I feel that something has been taken away from me, and there is nothing I can do. I can’t train harder, I can’t be a referee, I don’t know what the rules of the game are anymore. “

Having retired in 2015, Jones has also suffered from depression in recent years, before starting to experience increasingly serious memory problems. “I’m terrified because I don’t know how I will be in two or three years. Nobody can tell me if these episodes of lack of memory will last a week or two, or maybe they will be permanent.”

An unstoppable decline, in the face of which Jones, like anyone in his condition, is powerless. This is one of the reasons why the former Wales captain asks for greater responsibility from the top of the sport: “Rugby is walking towards the abyss, with its eyes closed: it is a catastrophic situation”. Last month, the Alzheimer’s Society partnered with the Professional Rugby Association to provide information and support to past or present players or managers who have been diagnosed with dementia. (HANDLE).

Source: Ansa

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