Navigation Links
'Heading' a soccer ball could lead to brain injury
Date:11/28/2011

CHICAGO Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study the effects of soccer 'heading,' researchers have found that players who head the ball with high frequency have brain abnormalities similar to those found in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. Results of their study were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Heading, in which players field the soccer ball with their head, is an essential part of the game and the focus of many training drills.

"Heading a soccer ball is not an impact of a magnitude that will lacerate nerve fibers in the brain," said Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and medical director of MRI services at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. "But repetitive heading could set off a cascade of responses that can lead to degeneration of brain cells."

DTI, an advanced magnetic resonance (MR) technique, allows researchers to assess microscopic changes in the brain's white matter, which is composed of millions of nerve fibers called axons that act like communication cables connecting various regions of the brain. DTI produces a measurement, called fractional anisotropy (FA), of the movement of water molecules along axons. In healthy white matter, the direction of water movement is fairly uniform and measures high in FA. When water movement is more random, FA values decrease.

"Abnormally low FA within white matter has been associated with cognitive impairment in patients with TBI," Dr. Lipton said.

Dr. Lipton and colleagues conducted DTI on 32 amateur soccer players (average age: 30.8 years), all of whom have played the sport since childhood. The researchers estimated how often each soccer player headed the ball on an annual basis and then ranked the players based on heading frequency. They then compared the brain images of the most frequent headers with those of the remaining players and identified areas of the brain where FA values differed significantly.

"Between the two groups, there were significant differences in FA in five brain regions in the frontal lobe and in the temporooccipital region," Dr. Lipton said. "Soccer players who headed most frequently had significantly lower FA in these brain regions."

The five regions identified by the researchers are responsible for attention, memory, executive functioning and higher-order visual functions.

To assess the relationship between the frequency of heading and white matter changes, the researchers also compared the magnitude of FA in each brain region with the frequency of heading in each soccer player.

"Our goal was to determine if there is a threshold level for heading frequency that, when surpassed, resulted in detectable white matter injury," Dr. Lipton said.

The analysis revealed a threshold level of approximately 1,000 to 1,500 heads per year. Once players in the study surpassed that level, researchers observed a significant decline in their FA in the five identified brain regions.

"What we've shown here is compelling evidence that there are brain changes that look like traumatic brain injury as a result of heading a soccer ball with high frequency," Dr. Lipton said. "Given that soccer is the most popular sport worldwide and is played extensively by children, these are findings that should be taken into consideration in order to protect soccer players."


'/>"/>

Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Frequent heading in soccer can lead to brain injury and cognitive impairment
2. Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is heading for a health-care crisis
3. FIFA, ICRS team up to keep soccer players on their feet
4. New study: Women less likely than men to fake soccer injuries
5. Healthy U Chosen as Exclusive Concessions Provider for McHenry's 1st Annual Kicks 4 Kids Youth Charity Soccer Tournament
6. Smart Soccer Goalies Should Wear Red
7. Scientists: Soccer improves health, fitness and social abilities
8. Soccer reduces risk of falls and bone fractures
9. Scientists identify key area that could sever communication between brain and heart in disease
10. States could see substantial savings with tobacco control programs
11. Could Slow Eating Be Key to Staying Slim?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... campaign returns for a third time to shed lights on the variety of topics ... and inspirational stories, “Nurse Appreciation” tackles why this career has gone from being in ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... An educational campaign aimed at ... stories, courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities and thought leaders. It also provides insight to ... industry leaders such as Bioness. , As patients feel increasingly concerned about ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and ... interest stories, courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It ... leading advocates and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones & Bartlett Learning ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries. Aside from its GMP accreditation, Validation Center ... proof of successfully certified products, services and staff. , Validation Center is ISO17025 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... W.S. Badger ... has been honored with a 2016 When Work Works Award for its use of ... of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and Work Institute ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... the necessity of health literacy within the technology advancement of diagnostic imaging. According to a ... majority of oncology patients undergo imaging screenings without understanding the nuanced risks associated with ... ... ... Diagnostic Imaging Ampronix ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , May 27, 2016 ... innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on late-stage drug development, ... Dexcel Pharma of pivotal batches required for ... Drug Administration (FDA). This follows Kitov,s announcement ... III trial successfully met its primary efficacy endpoint. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 ... market growth is the emergence of new treatments. Cardax, ... therapies for osteoarthritis treatment. The therapy is expected to ... Arthritis Research UK is conducting studies to develop new ... study, where the genes involved in osteoarthritis are being ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: