Soccer and Brain Injuries May be Linked
Harvard Medical School researchers are exploring a possible link between soccer and damage to the brain's "white matter," which contains nerves that transport signals essential for memory and attention functions.
Researchers used high-resolution imaging to study the brains of 12 professional soccer players in Germany and a similar number of competitive swimmers. Though the soccer players were not known to have had any brain injuries or concussions, the scans showed damage
to the white matter in their brains, while the swimmers showed no such damage. Though only a small number of patients were studied, the findings may warrant further investigation.
The study was published in the Nov. 14, 2012, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Learn more at jama.jamanetwork.com (search for Soccer White Matter).