Worse thinking-related function in soccer players stems mainly from frequent ball heading
rather than accidental head hits/effects due to crashes, (people who work to find information) have found.
The study says that efforts to reduce long-term brain injuries may be focusing too narrowly on preventing
(happening by chance, without any planning) head crashes.
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Worse thinking-related function in soccer players stems mainly from frequent ball
heading rather than accidental
head hits/effects due to crashes, (people who work to find information) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have found.
The study says that efforts to reduce long-term brain injuries may be focusing too narrowly on preventing (happening by chance,
without any planning) head crashes. The study published online today in the Edges of something/unexplored areas in
(nerve-related medical care).
“Accidental head hits/affects are usually thought about/believed the most common cause of(identified a disease or its cause)
(hard hits to the head that knock people out) in soccer, so it‘s understandable that current prevention efforts aim at
(making something as small as possible/treating something important as unimportant) those crashes,” said study leader,
Michael Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.R., professor of (x-ray related medicine) and of mental health care and behavioral sciences at Einstein
and medical director of MRI Services at Montefiore. “But(on purpose) head hits/effects —
that is, soccer ball heading — are not harmless. We showed in a previous study that frequent
heading is a
(not given enough attention or respect) cause of (hard hit to the head that knocks you out) signs of sickness.
And now we‘ve found that heading
appears to change thinking-related function also, at least (only for a short time).”
While heading has (before that/before now) been connected with short-lived thinking-related problems, the Einstein study is the first to compare
the thinking-related effects of heading to accidental head hits/effects such as crashes.
Three hundred and eight inexperienced/low quality soccer players in New York City filled out lists of questions detailing their recent
(previous two weeks) soccer activity, including heading and accidental head hits/affects. People
(who were part of a study, etc.) also completed neuropsychological tests of verbal learning, verbal memory,
attention and working memory.
The players ranged in age from 18 to 55, and 78 percent were male.
Players headed soccer balls an average of 45 times during the two weeks covered by the list of questions. During that time, about one-third
of the players suffered at least one accidental head-hit/effect (e.g., kicks to the head or
head-to head, head-to-ground, or head-to-goalpost crashes).
Players who reported the most headings had the poorest performance on psychomotor
speed and attention tasks, which are areas of
functioning known to be affected by brain injury. Heading frequency also strongly related to poorer performance on the working
memory job, although
the association was of (right on the edge; maybe or maybe not) importance. In contrast, accidental
head hits/effects were not related to any aspect
of thinking-related performance.
The changes in thinking-related function did not cause obvious medicine-based damage/weakness,
the Einstein team reported. “However,
we‘re concerned that difficult to notice/skillful, even short-lived reductions in neuropsychological function
from heading could translate to micro structural changes in the brain that then lead to (in an always-trying way)
We need a much longer-term
follow-up study of more soccer players to fully face/deal with this question,” said Dr. Lipton.
In the meantime, soccer players should think about/believe reducing heading during practice and soccer games,
Dr. Lipton advises.
“Heading is a possible cause of brain injury,” he says, “and since it‘s under control of the player,
its results can be prevented.”