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Heading the Ball in Soccer May Cause Brain Damage

Health & Fitness

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(NEW YORK) — Youth soccer may be more dangerous than parents think.

Researchers from the University of Colorado have published a new study in JAMA Pediatrics talking about the relationship between heading the ball in high school soccer and brain damage. 

Using data collected from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, the researchers found for 68.8 percent of boys and 51.3 percent of girls, player-player contact was the most common concussion mechanism; heading was the most common activity associated with concussion in 30.6 percent of boys and 25.3 percent of girls.

According to some reports, heading the ball has been associated with cognitive impairment and balance issues.

Results also suggest banning heading from high school soccer would most likely prevent concussions, but a more effective way would be to reduce athlete-to-athlete contact across all phases of play.

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