Soccer players who frequently head the ball may be at risk for traumatic brain injuries, according to a new study from Yeshiva University. Researchers from the school's Albert Einstein College of Medicine tested 37 amateur soccer players using an MRI-based technique to measure damage to axons, a type of nerve fiber in the brain. According to Science Daily, the team found that the players who headed the ball the most had damage similar to patients who had suffered from concussions.
"While further research is clearly needed, our findings suggest that controlling the amount of heading that people do may help prevent brain injury," said Dr. Michael Lipton, the associate director of the college's Gruss magnetic Resonance Research Center.
The study also found that players who headed soccer balls more than 1,800 times a year were more likely to have poorer memory scores than players who headed it less.