Heading Soccer Balls May Affect Cognitive Function.

Dr. Tom Schweizer, director of the Neuroscience Research Program of St. Michael’s Hospital, recently conducted a literature review of studies related to head injuries among soccer players caused by “heading” the ball. According to existing studies, players who head the ball most often were found to have greater memory, planning, and perceptual deficits and were more likely to perform poorly on verbal and visual memory tests. Other studies noted that older and retired players were more likely to report significantly impaired conceptual thinking, reaction time, and concentration. Dr. Schweizer also found that nearly two-thirds of high school soccer players suffered from concussion symptoms during their playing careers and that girls’ soccer ranked second in concussion injuries among all high school sports.
Brain Injury, February 2014