Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .
.
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
Health News Health News
.
'Heading' Soccer Ball Can Damage Brain, Study Says
February 21, 2014

 

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Heading a soccer ball -- a common move on the playing field -- can have serious, long-term effects on the brain, warns a Canadian researcher.

Concussions account for as many as 8.6 percent of injuries in soccer, according to a study by Dr. Tom Schweizer, director of the neuroscience research program at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Some of these concussions are caused by collisions, while others come from heading -- deliberately using your head to control the ball.

Not enough attention is paid to the consequences of this particular tactic, which can have lasting effects on thinking and memory even when the blows to the head aren't severe enough to cause a concussion, Schweizer said.

"The practice of heading, which might occur thousands of times over a player's career, carries unknown risks, but may uniquely contribute to cognitive decline or impairment in the short- or long-term," Schweizer explained in a hospital news release.

"Thus, soccer players present a unique opportunity to study whether cumulative sub-concussive impacts affect cognitive functioning, similar to that of concussions," he said.

In a review of existing studies published online recently in the journal Brain Injury, Schweizer examined how often concussions occur in soccer.

One study revealed that nearly 63 percent of varsity soccer players had symptoms of a concussion at some point, but only about 19 percent knew it. In another study, nearly 82 percent of players who had at least one concussion had two or more of these head injuries. The research found that those who suffered one concussion had a 3.15 times greater chance of having another one than players who never had this type of injury.

A separate study also revealed that soccer-related concussions accounted for 15 percent of all sports concussions. Girls' soccer was second only to football for sports-related concussions, accounting for 8.2 percent of these head injuries, the study found.

The long-term result of these head injuries included problems with memory, planning and perception, the review found. One study noted that professional soccer players who engaged in the most heading performed the worst on verbal and visual memory tests as well as tests of their attention span. A separate study also found older and retired players had significant problems with conceptual thinking, reaction times and concentration.

The studies that involved brain imaging found players who suffered concussions had physical changes to their brain.

Preventive measures can be taken to protect soccer players from serious head injuries, the study authors said.

"Use of protective headgear, limiting heading exposure or stressing proper heading technique in younger children and increasing concussion education are all suggestions to perhaps decrease the incidence of head injury and their subsequent effects in the long run," study co-author Monica Maher, who is studying for a master's degree in neuroscience at the University of Toronto, said in the news release.

Soccer, the most popular and fastest-growing sport in the world, is played by 27 million people in North America, according to the news release.

More information

The Brain Injury Association of America provides more information on concussions and other head injuries.
Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


SOURCE: St. Michael's Hospital, news release, Feb. 10, 2014...

InteliHealth
.
.
.
.
.
More News
InteliHealth .
.
General Health News
Today's News
Today In Health History
This Week In Health
Addiction News
Allergy News
Alzheimer's News
Arthritis News
Asthma News
Babies News
Breast Cancer News
Bronchitis News
Cancer News
Cervical Cancer News
Children's Health News
Cholesterol News
Dental/Oral Health News
Depression News
Diabetes News
Ear, Nose And Throat News
Environmental Health News
Eye News
Fitness News
Genetics News
Headache News
Health Policy News
Heart Attack News
Heart Failure News
Heart Health News
HIV/AIDS News
Infectious Diseases News
Influenza News
Lung Cancer News
Medication News
Men's Health News
Mental Health News
Multiple Sclerosis News
Nutrition News
Parkinson's News
Pregnancy News
Prostate Cancer News
Schizophrenia
Senior Health News
Sexual/Reproductive Health News
Sexual dysfunction
Sleep News
STDs News
Stroke News
Tobacco Cessation News
Weight Management News
Women's Health News
.
.
.
.
InteliHealth
    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.