By Chris Daly
Today’s Times carries in the print edition an incremental piece about the cranial dangers of heading the ball in soccer.
The researchers found, according to data they presented at aRadiological Society of North America meeting last month, that the players who had headed the ball more than about 1,100 times in the previous 12 months showed significant loss of white matter in parts of their brains involved with memory, attention and the processing of visual information, compared with players who had headed the ball fewer times. (White matter is the brain’s communication wiring, the axons and other structures that relay messages between neurons.)
“No one is suggesting that heading should be outlawed,” she concludes. But science and common sense both indicate that “it’s almost certainly not a good idea to practice heading over and over and over.”