Heading Soccer Balls Tied to Damaging Brain Changes

Doing it a lot may increase risk of memory problems in adult soccer players, study says

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For parents who may be wondering if they should keep their kids from heading soccer balls, Lipton said the evidence isn't clear-cut enough yet to make a firm recommendation one way or the other.

"Parents have to weigh the evidence and make their own decisions. Our study provides very preliminary evidence that lines up with many of the concerns that parents have, but that needs to be balanced against the fact that this isn't yet a closed book," Lipton said.

Bell agreed, and added a counterpoint.

"The data is evolving, and any sort of mild traumatic brain injury may have consequences we don't understand yet," Bell said, adding that parents also have to remember that they don't want to discourage their children from being physically active, because a sedentary lifestyle has other health risks.

More information

Learn more about mild brain injuries from the Brain Injury Association.

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