Can heading a football really cause brain damage?

Heading the ball thousands of times over a soccer player's career may have consequences later in life

Football continues to attempt to make an inherently unsafe game more safe, and soccer may look to do the same to protect its players in the future.

The team identified CTE pathology in four of the six brains examined, and all six also had signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Last December the Professional Footballers' Association called on the authorities to consider banning children under the age of 10 from heading the ball, following research by the University of Stirling which found players suffered memory impairment after heading.

The study was published in Acta Neuropathologica on Wednesday. And, while the report did not look into the risks of heading the ball at underage level, the findings lay out in black and white the health risks involved for players involved in the game over a prolonged period. These factors will help us to unpick the answers to a complex and under researched issue.' 'Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia and it's important to ensure that people playing any kind of sport are able to do safely'.

Researchers asked 19 footballers to head a ball 20 times as if they were heading from a powerful corner kick.

The findings, from a study of 14 former players, suggest a possible link between playing football and developing conditions such as dementia in later in life.

They had played football for an average of 26 years and all six went on to develop dementia in their 60s.

A potential cause of dementia thought to arise from blows to the head has, for the first time, been confirmed in a group of retired footballers following a small study.

Ms Astle said: "We know what happened to dad and the evidence is mounting and mounting".


These men had a far higher rate of CTE in their brains than the 12 per cent average in the general population, based on a previous study of 268 brains.

He said: "We do not yet know exactly what causes CTE in footballers or how significant the risk is".

"Further research is needed to shed light on how lifestyle factors such as playing sport may alter dementia risk, and how this sits in the context of the well-established benefits of being physically active". They were all diagnosed with dementia between 1980 and 2010.

Dr David Reynolds, of the charity Alzheimer's United Kingdom, said recreational football was unlikely to cause long-term problems and the benefits of exercise outweighed the risks.

The scientists acknowledged the size of the study was small, and appealed to people to remain open-minded when it comes to presenting themselves for research.

"However, we do not know if dementia is more common among retired footballers or if these footballers would have developed dementia anyway as they age without having played". But football is unique compared with boxing and American football in that blows to the head, as they are commonly more minor and less likely to cause significant neurological symptoms or loss of consciousness to football players.

The FA's Head of Medicine, Dr Charlotte Cowie, welcomed the researchers and cited the establishment of an Expert Concussion Panel in 2015 as evidence of the seriousness with which the FA viewed the issue.

The Alzheimer's Society, said that studies with much larger numbers of participants were needed, who a control group of footballers who do not have cognitive problems.

"To this end, we have recently agreed with the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) to jointly fund the research project as we believe that a collaborative approach will strengthen the credibility and resource available to the project".

Related News:

  • Two-Year-Old Chicago Boy Killed In Gang Hit, Cops Say

    Two-Year-Old Chicago Boy Killed In Gang Hit, Cops Say

    Police have confirmed the authenticity of the video and it is part of their investigation, spokesman Frank Giancamilli said. Police said the officers thought the SUV matched the description of the vehicle wanted in the toddler's death.
    Humana pulls out of Obamacare for 2018

    Humana pulls out of Obamacare for 2018

    Bertolini said he and Broussard could still work together despite the end of Aetna's proposed $37 billion purchase of Humana. House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a press conference that leaders are taking a "step-by-step" strategy on repeal and replace.
    Massive Cheese Recall In Progress Due To Listeria

    Massive Cheese Recall In Progress Due To Listeria

    The Sara Lee recall involves 734 cases of cheese distributed in Alabama, California, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas. A supplier notified Sargento that a Longhorn Colby cheese that supplied may contain a form of Listeria .
  • Secretary Mattis to NATO Countries: It's Time to Pay Up!

    Secretary Mattis to NATO Countries: It's Time to Pay Up!

    Flynn resigned this week under pressure over allegations he discussed USA sanctions with Russia's ambassador before taking office. Trump said he was prepared to tell those countries: "Congratulations: You will be defending yourself".
    Donald Trump to

    Donald Trump to "design or negotiate" cheaper option for Mexico border wall

    Trump has said he wants to renegotiate NAFTA , calling the deal one-sided and blaming it for gutting US manufacturing. Thousands of people marched against President Trump in Mexico City over the weekend, the Associated Press reported .
    New Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross named and revealed

    New Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross named and revealed

    Mitsubishi has unveiled the name for its new CUV as the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. It will be revealed in full at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
  • Hundreds order arrangements for Valentine's Day

    Hundreds order arrangements for Valentine's Day

    At the end of 2014, roughly 55 producers in eight countries held fair trade certification for flowers and plants, Marron said. But lots of other flowers are good for Valentine's Day too, like orchids. "The guys usually are the ones who (buy) flowers".
    Appeals court will vote on rehearing ban ruling

    Appeals court will vote on rehearing ban ruling

    Martosko said he wasn't sure whether Trump had the earpiece in earlier, during the beginning of the press conference. The Justice Department said in a statement it is "considering its options" in response to Thomas' request.
    Grammys 2017: Winners & Highlights: Metallica, Lady Gaga, Prince, A Tribe Called Quest

    Grammys 2017: Winners & Highlights: Metallica, Lady Gaga, Prince, A Tribe Called Quest

    Hetfield and Gaga shared ended up sharing her mic, adding a cool theatrical element to the performance, albeit an unplanned one. From writing solo dance-pop to performing jazzy duets with Tony Bennett, Gaga is now doing metal with Metallica .
  • The search for life: NASA to deploy robotic probe to Europa

    The search for life: NASA to deploy robotic probe to Europa

    Now, the space agency has detailed - in a Science Definition Team (SDT) report - a mission to send a lander to the icy moon. Then, they will collect data which will help them in the preparation for an actual landing on the icy moon of Jupiter.
    China consumer inflation quickens to 2.5% in January

    China consumer inflation quickens to 2.5% in January

    The minerals segment, however, saw the rate of inflation almost doubling in January to 25.4% from 12.9% in December. The WPI for January'17 is significantly higher than the WPI of (-) 1.07% for the corresponding month past year .
    Direct control: Mass Effect: Andromeda's single-player campaign can be played offline

    Direct control: Mass Effect: Andromeda's single-player campaign can be played offline

    Aside from not being open-world, Gamble shared some of the things that players can look forward to in Mass Effect Andromeda . All squad members would have their own loyalty missions as strings of objectives rather than one single mission.


Most liked

'Humans must merge with machine or we'll become REDUNDANT' warns Elon Musk
In order to deal with the fast evolution of technology, humans need to train their brains accordingly to keep up with it. Profits could exceed from $30 billion in 2020 to $45 billion in 2025 when robots completely dominated the labor force.

Williamsburg Building Has Pregnant Trump And Putin Love Photo Projected Onto It
Brendan Alper, the founder of the app, said they hoped to make people laugh. The image was captioned "Love Through Hate".

Family pays tribute to 'loving, energetic boy' killed in Topshop
He was pronounced dead in hospital just an hour after the incident which happened at 4.15pm, Thames Valley Police said. Following a tragic accident in which a 10-year-old child was killed, Topshop has recalled the display units involved.

Two Bodies Found Where Girls Went Missing
He did not comment on any injuries the deceased might have suffered or even the ages of the victims. Officials launched a major search for the two girls, and have revealed two bodies have been found.

Nintendo Switch Footage Of FIFA And Dragon Quest Heroes
Simple yet effective advertisements that showcase exactly what the system is, what it's capable of and how it's used. Now Nintendo has opened up a bit more about what people can expect from the game.

Aetna and Humana call off their $34 billion merger
Both companies would have combined to form the second-largest health insurer in the US. This August 2011 photo shows the entrance to the Humana building, in Louisville, Ky.

Silver, Jordan help cool down Oakley-Dolan feud
After Oakley's arrest, Dolan suggested Oakley might have an alcohol problem, which the former Knicks forward denied. Oakley was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of trespassing.

Wall Street flat ahead of Yellen testimony
During the financial crisis, the Fed purchased large-scale assets to hold down long-term interest rates. US stock indexes opened slightly lower Tuesday morning after breaching record highs on Monday.

Gambia set to rejoin Commonwealth under new president
According to state media, Gambia's government has notified the United Nations of its intention to remain in the ICC. Mr Jammeh took The Gambia out of the Commonwealth in 2013, calling it a neo-colonial institution.

J&K Encounter: Four Hizbul Terrorists Killed In Kulgam
Heavy contingents of police and security forces have been deployed in the region to prevent massive public protests. At least two terrorists were killed in the encounter which broke out in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam this morning.

Chrissy Teigen trying to avoid another red carpet faux pas
We're having ramen", she declared in the first video, showing off her silky, orange outfit change. Teigen, 31, continued to narrate the whole ordeal, explaining, "Okay, he's taking it off...

Melissa McCarthy Returns to 'SNL' as Sean Spicer
He revealed some of the terrorist attacks that the press hadn't written about. 'It is real , ' Spicer says. Spicer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on his portrayal. "Duh, 'that isn't real ".

Google's Valentine's Day doodle is all about love and pangolins
Monday's Google Doodle is an effort to educate people about pangolins and how they range from vulnerable to critically endangered. As you go through the game, you'll have to pick up different items to rack up points, and earn as many stars as possible.

Yahya Sinwar Elected Hamas' Gaza Chief
The Israeli military confirmed the round of strikes saying it hit three Hamas positions. Khalil al-Haya, another political hard-liner, was elected as Sinwar's deputy.

The Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR) Set to Announce Earnings on Monday
The Oakville, Ontario-based company's total revenue rose about 5 per cent to $1.11-billion and was almost in line with estimates. The company expects to open the first locations in some of those markets this year, said chief financial officer Josh Kobza.