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This evening we will dive into the “nature versus nurture” of mental health as we will explore the influence of genetic traits and our daily environment and activities on mental illness.
Heading for trouble: Mental health in the beautiful game
Dr. Gwen Fernandes (Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology)
Recently, the Football Association in England, Scotland and Ireland advised that there should be ‘no heading of footballs in training’ for primary school children. A recent study showed that former professional footballers were at least three times more likely to die from brain disease compared to non-footballers. This talk is a narrative of the anecdotes, case studies and a summary of the recent research evidence behind professional football and mental health and well-being including neurodegenerative conditions
Genetic influences on mental illness: The potential and pitfalls
Dr Robyn Wootton (Senior Research Associate)
Genetic influences on mental illness are complex – many genetic variants are involved and each one predicts very little risk. In this talk, I will present some of the potential applications of this genetic knowledge, to help improve treatments and identify risk factors. I will also discuss some of the ways that this genetic contribution can be misunderstood and how commercial companies misrepresent the possibilities.