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Football memorabilia used to treat dementia

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Football memorabilia has been unveiled as a possible treatment option for dementia sufferers.

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University said they witnessed “startling” results after introducing football memorabilia such as photographs and match programmes to groups of men suffering from the condition.

They found that the nostalgic effect of the memorabilia sparked conversation while stimulating old memories that helped them to connect with their former lives, the study authors said.

Such is the success of the study that researchers as far afield as Canada are looking at adapting the theory to their own national sport, ice hockey, in a bid to improve treatment options for dementia sufferers.

Professor Debbie Tolson, director of the university’s Scottish Centre for Evidence Based Care of Older People, said: “The men’s life-long interest in football connected them to their former selves and shared memories. There is very little provided specifically for men with dementia and this is a welcome and positive innovation.

“We have had a tremendous response to this research, with Canada considering adopting the same principle with ice hockey. At the moment, I am gathering together a group of researchers to mount a proposal to roll out the concept to other European countries.”

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