LONDON (Reuters) - Football players are three and a half times more likely to die from neurodegenerative diseases in the head, according to a study by the University of Glasgow.

The report was commissioned by the FA and the Association of Professional Footballers to assess the medical records of 7,676 professional players in Scotland between 1900 and 1976.

The players' records were matched to more than 23,000 people in the general population, in the study headed by neurologist Dr. Willy Stewart of the University of Glasgow.

"The risk of Alzheimer's has increased five-fold, four-fold in motor neuron disease, and twice as much in Parkinson's disease in former professional footballers," Stewart's findings suggest.

"Although football players were more likely to die from neurological diseases, they were less likely to die from other common diseases, such as heart disease and certain cancers, including lung cancer," the study showed.