The need to tackle concussion in Australian football codes

Frederic Gilbert and Bradley J Partridge
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (9): 561-563. || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11218

A call for systematic and comprehensive investigation into the long-term effects of football-related head trauma

Postmortem evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of American National Football League players who suffered concussions while playing have intensified concerns about the risks of concussion in sport.1 Concussions are frequently sustained by amateur and professional players of Australia’s three most popular football codes (Australian football, rugby league, and rugby union) and, to a lesser extent, other contact sports such as soccer. This raises major concerns about possible long-term neurological damage,2-4 cognitive impairment and mental health problems5 in players of these sports.

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  • Frederic Gilbert1
  • Bradley J Partridge2

  • 1 Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS.
  • 2 University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Brisbane, QLD.



This work was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded to Brad Partridge, and by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, where Frederic Gilbert is based. We sincerely thank Wayne Hall and Adrian Carter at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research for providing comments on an earlier version of this article.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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