Heading Soccer Balls Tied to Brain Damage

By  , everydayHealth
Jun 12, 2013

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a man heading football

A new study has revealed that soccer players who head the ball a lot show changes in the white matter of their brain that mirror those seen in traumatic head injuries. Heading soccer balls is associated to higher risk of developing thinking and memory problems.

The researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine looked at the relationship between heading and changes in the brain and changes in cognitive functions [thinking and memory]. They found that the more heading people do, the more likely are the microscopic structural abnormalities in the brain. The subjects (adult soccer players) were more likely to do poorly on cognitive tests, particularly in terms of memory.

Soccer is one of the world's most popular sports worldwide, and heading is a common move in soccer. They didn’t point heading as a cause of brain changes, but were certain of the association. The study findings were published in the journal Radiology.

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