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Thread: Heading footballs leads to progressive brain damage and earlier onset of dementia

  1. #181  
    BearWithMe is online now First team regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    Don't know is already posted, here is something from Sean Ingle on the topic:

    It has become a depressingly familiar pattern. Dead sportsmen’s brains are sliced up, skewered under a microscope and the evidence of how their professions have wrecked their minds becomes horribly clear. Where American football leads, association football has followed. Last week research from Swansea University and University College London linked chronic, repetitive head impacts with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia in deceased players. Yet the broad direction of travel has long been established even before Jeff Astle’s early death in 2002 was ascribed by a coroner to “industrial disease” from heading heavy footballs.

    No one disputes that this research is necessary and overdue. But the danger of always gazing backwards is that we miss what is in front of us. Fresh research suggests the dangers of heading didn’t disappear with the arrival of lighter and water-resistant balls, and the risks, particularly to children and teenage girls, may be under-appreciated.

    In 2015 I wrote about ground-breaking research from scientists at Purdue University in Indiana which showed that even with modern footballs the forces involved in heading back goal-kicks and long punts were far higher than expected. Some registered at between 50Gs and 100Gs – similar to American football players smashing into each other or punches thrown by boxers.

    The team at Purdue have now discovered another potentially worrying issue: that when teenage girls head a football regularly there is a risk of low‑level brain injuries, which in some cases lasts for four or five months before the brain looks normal on MRI scans. Think about that and ask yourself why, with all the money sloshing around football and flowing into agents’ pockets, aren’t more studies conducted?

    The Purdue blueprint would be a good place to start. Their scientists recruited 26 female high school athletes – 14 of whom played soccer and 12 who did other non-collision sports such as track and field, swimming and basketball – and gave them several MRI scans over the course of a year. The soccer players were scanned before the season started, twice during the season and then two or three times after the season had ended. Each training session and match was also filmed, with players wearing an xPatch sensor behind their right ears, allowing the academics to record the impact of every header and collision greater than 20Gs of force .

    The results were startling. While the soccer players didn’t suffer concussions, some of them developed what researchers called “marked cerebrovascular reactivity changes in the frontotemporal aspects of the brain”, which persisted for several months. “It is a big deal,” Eric Nauman, the director of the human injury research and regenerative technologies laboratory at Purdue, told me. “Some players saw pretty dramatic changes in their cerebral blood flow because of accumulating head impacts. Those levels changed significantly and stayed elevated. That was kind of a shock to us. We knew we would see those changes when we studied American football players but we didn’t in soccer.”

    Nauman’s colleague Tom Talavage says they have as-yet unpublished data that strongly suggest a long-term physiological response to asymptomatic injury taking place – a form of inflammation coupled with elevated blood flow levels – which can be associated with tiredness, lower concentration levels and impaired cognitive function. “This response is arguably a ‘healing’ process but one has to consider the idea that if an adolescent’s brain is expending energy repairing itself, it is unlikely that its development is progressing optimally,” he adds.

    In women’s sports it has long been known soccer has the largest number of traumatic brain injuries annually and has among the highest concussion rates, with rates slightly exceeding men’s football at the collegiate level. But this research shows sub-concussive injuries, from heading footballs, are also a potential issue.

    What exacerbates the problem is that players usually don’t realise their brains have minor damage and so keep on playing, increasing the likelihood of more serious problems. “You can bruise any other part of your body and it feels sore so you lay off that spot,” says Nauman. “But your brain doesn’t have that kind of response.”

    So what should be done? On Friday Uefa promised to undertake a research project which would count the number of times children aged eight to 12, and 14 to 16, head the ball in games and training sessions. But the Purdue scientists consider that insufficient. As they point out, every time kids dive or collide with each other there is a risk of whiplash or other rapid head movement that may well contribute to low-level damage that leads to injury.

    Instead they suggest a number of measures: banning players under 12 from heading the ball – something that already happens in the US – and reducing the severity of such impacts among teenagers by making sure they are not playing and practising headers every day. “People argue that if youngsters can’t head the ball then they don’t learn proper technique but the big point is when you are 12 and under, your neck and shoulders and back aren’t strong enough for you to have proper technique,” says Nauman. But he wants to preserve the game not radically alter it. “It isn’t hard to reduce the head impacts in practice and save them for games. Really it is about giving the brain a chance to rest and recover.”

    The danger with kids is obvious, in all sports not just football, but whats the solution with professional sports? people have died very recently from Boxing, MMA, F1 even Cricket! What do we do? ban all sports becase they are dangerous? In boxing the aim is to punch your opposition in the head, how do you make that safe? Head guards wont help much.

    That article states heading a ball can reach up to 100Gs but this article say most recorded front headers (woman's football) was only 4.5Gs were as falling over was 23.7Gs http://www.brainline.org/content/201...act-study.html so you are more likely to get a brain injury from falling over than heading a ball. The study also says high school american footballers regularly record 60G - 100G, compare that with front heading a 'soccer' ball at 4.5Gs. If the ball is kick full force at the players head, thats different, but heading a ball from say a goal kick is much different. You would have to calculate the distance travelled from the ball's peak (how high its kicked) then drag, gravity and all sorts come into it.
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    Clearly true, look at Paul Merson.

    FACT.
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  3. #183  
    Red-And-Proud is offline First team regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearWithMe View Post
    The danger with kids is obvious, in all sports not just football, but whats the solution with professional sports? people have died very recently from Boxing, MMA, F1 even Cricket! What do we do? ban all sports becase they are dangerous? In boxing the aim is to punch your opposition in the head, how do you make that safe? Head guards wont help much.

    That article states heading a ball can reach up to 100Gs but this article say most recorded front headers (woman's football) was only 4.5Gs were as falling over was 23.7Gs http://www.brainline.org/content/201...act-study.html so you are more likely to get a brain injury from falling over than heading a ball. The study also says high school american footballers regularly record 60G - 100G, compare that with front heading a 'soccer' ball at 4.5Gs. If the ball is kick full force at the players head, thats different, but heading a ball from say a goal kick is much different. You would have to calculate the distance travelled from the ball's peak (how high its kicked) then drag, gravity and all sorts come into it.
    But the issue is because it is repeated isn't it? the last line, if you fall over and bang your head you then give it time to recover.
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    Red-And-Proud is offline First team regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrytibbs View Post
    Clearly true, look at Paul Merson.

    FACT.
    THink he is just like that anyway
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrytibbs View Post
    Clearly true, look at Paul Merson.

    FACT.
    Would rather not .
    Apparently some poor girl had an "event" with him and Ray Parlour . It was a foursome , she needed a sign language expert in the room , who's still traumatised. .
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearWithMe View Post
    The danger with kids is obvious, in all sports not just football, but whats the solution with professional sports? people have died very recently from Boxing, MMA, F1 even Cricket! What do we do? ban all sports becase they are dangerous? In boxing the aim is to punch your opposition in the head, how do you make that safe? Head guards wont help much.

    That article states heading a ball can reach up to 100Gs but this article say most recorded front headers (woman's football) was only 4.5Gs were as falling over was 23.7Gs http://www.brainline.org/content/201...act-study.html so you are more likely to get a brain injury from falling over than heading a ball. The study also says high school american footballers regularly record 60G - 100G, compare that with front heading a 'soccer' ball at 4.5Gs. If the ball is kick full force at the players head, thats different, but heading a ball from say a goal kick is much different. You would have to calculate the distance travelled from the ball's peak (how high its kicked) then drag, gravity and all sorts come into it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red-And-Proud View Post
    But the issue is because it is repeated isn't it? the last line, if you fall over and bang your head you then give it time to recover.
    Yes its the repetativeness of it that is key, falling over and bumping your head is not a repeat thing too often, though even a fall can cause lots of problems should you bang your head hard enough.

    Its like cycling, one of the most common issues for head injuries is through not wearing a helmet, terrible things happen.

    A lot more research needs to be done and properly evaluated but for me this goes back to personal responsibility, if the risks are well researched then made clear, its down to those wishing to partake to take personal responsibility and accept any risks as part of the trade off, i.e. like boxers etc.

    I don't believe though it is the sole responsibility of any governing body to bring in radical rules to protect against a likely limited risk
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  7. #187  
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    Yes its the repetativeness of it that is key, falling over and bumping your head is not a repeat thing too often, though even a fall can cause lots of problems should you bang your head hard enough.

    Its like cycling, one of the most common issues for head injuries is through not wearing a helmet, terrible things happen.

    A lot more research needs to be done and properly evaluated but for me this goes back to personal responsibility, if the risks are well researched then made clear, its down to those wishing to partake to take personal responsibility and accept any risks as part of the trade off, i.e. like boxers etc.

    I don't believe though it is the sole responsibility of any governing body to bring in radical rules to protect against a likely limited risk
    Bang on Welshy. Any line of work there is some sort of risk and it's down to the employee to take precaution if they want it - perhaps along the line head gear could be worn to slightly reduce any risk, not that I think you will see many footballers wanting to mess up their hair.
    Klopps beard twin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red-And-Proud View Post
    But the issue is because it is repeated isn't it? the last line, if you fall over and bang your head you then give it time to recover.
    Yes I was just showing the difference in isolation. I'm not sure on the details but wouldn't heading the ball 10 times equal falling over twice in terms of Gs? Anyway my point is there are far more repetitive head impacts in other sports with way more Gs involved than football.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grenny158 View Post
    Absolutely .. and the fact that they aren't - or don't seem to be - indicates their current level of concern about this. And, if the players themselves (who obviously are the ones this would potentially affect) or the PFA are doing nothing about it, why should supporters be concerned or do anything about it?
    Exactly, the current evidence is based upon 6 people, as such it is of no scientific significance and therefore, no conclusions can be drawn.

    Compete a genuine study - and NO, a genuine study does not mean waiting until the players are dead and maybe the findings will be more seriously considered.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red-And-Proud View Post
    Bang on Welshy. Any line of work there is some sort of risk and it's down to the employee to take precaution if they want it - perhaps along the line head gear could be worn to slightly reduce any risk, not that I think you will see many footballers wanting to mess up their hair.
    Aye, we go all hardcore like people are too stupid to understand the trade off's then bring in extreme measures.

    If we're not careful, we'll end up with this:

    https://youtu.be/RN7kVYz7GS8
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    Quote Originally Posted by grenny158 View Post
    Absolutely .. and the fact that they aren't - or don't seem to be - indicates their current level of concern about this. And, if the players themselves (who obviously are the ones this would potentially affect) or the PFA are doing nothing about it, why should supporters be concerned or do anything about it?
    Mate the whole thing is so dumb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    Yes its the repetativeness of it that is key, falling over and bumping your head is not a repeat thing too often, though even a fall can cause lots of problems should you bang your head hard enough.

    Its like cycling, one of the most common issues for head injuries is through not wearing a helmet, terrible things happen.

    A lot more research needs to be done and properly evaluated but for me this goes back to personal responsibility, if the risks are well researched then made clear, its down to those wishing to partake to take personal responsibility and accept any risks as part of the trade off, i.e. like boxers etc.

    I don't believe though it is the sole responsibility of any governing body to bring in radical rules to protect against a likely limited risk
    Exactly this.

    A sport is a sport, most sports are dangerous and serious injuries can happen. Most people get paid well who participate in these sports. If you told the next Messi "Heading a ball may result in a brain injury when you are older but if you head a ball for the next 10/15 years and you will earn millions" What would he do? quit football and get a 'normal' job? I doubt it but if he chooses to then so be it, its his choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearWithMe View Post
    Exactly this.

    A sport is a sport, most sports are dangerous and serious injuries can happen. Most people get paid well who participate in these sports. If you told the next Messi "Heading a ball may result in a brain injury when you are older but if you head a ball for the next 10/15 years and you will earn millions" What would he do? quit football and get a 'normal' job? I doubt it but if he chooses to then so be it, its his choice.
    Funny you should say that, I was of that standard myself but was told I might be doing myself harm so packed it all in to be an accountant.

    My life is so much better now, I can't afford any medical treatment for all my other ailments and growing health issues...but at least I know my head won't be quite as bad as the rest of me and that is one less expense.....unless I fall on it, get walloped in it, run accidentally into a tree, come off my bike, have an accident of any description involving my head
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    Funny you should say that, I was of that standard myself but was told I might be doing myself harm so packed it all in to be an accountant.

    My life is so much better now, I can't afford any medical treatment for all my other ailments and growing health issues...but at least I know my head won't be quite as bad as the rest of me and that is one less expense.....unless I fall on it, get walloped in it, run accidentally into a tree, come off my bike, have an accident of any description involving my head
    haha. If this brain injury thing becomes a big concern for players, who knows, maybe I could quit my job as an accountant to become a footballer on 100k pw, fingers crossed!
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    Red-And-Proud is offline First team regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearWithMe View Post
    Exactly this.

    A sport is a sport, most sports are dangerous and serious injuries can happen. Most people get paid well who participate in these sports. If you told the next Messi "Heading a ball may result in a brain injury when you are older but if you head a ball for the next 10/15 years and you will earn millions" What would he do? quit football and get a 'normal' job? I doubt it but if he chooses to then so be it, its his choice.
    I wouldn't mind but dementia can happen to people who never played football or anything using the head physically, my mates dad has it and he was told it just happens- so in your scenario the next Messi could opt for the normal job and still get some form of mental disease or dementia
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    Funny you should say that, I was of that standard myself but was told I might be doing myself harm so packed it all in to be an accountant.

    My life is so much better now, I can't afford any medical treatment for all my other ailments and growing health issues...but at least I know my head won't be quite as bad as the rest of me and that is one less expense.....unless I fall on it, get walloped in it, run accidentally into a tree, come off my bike, have an accident of any description involving my head
    You are one of the guys I really respect on this board so I take notice of what you say. Every sport and every job has its dangers. Life has its dangers. When I was in the army I had a kid drop a live grenade virtually in front of me. Somehow we both survived. Someone else may have died. **** happens to good people all the time. Apart from Gary Neville I don't see too many brain dead ex players just like a mate of mine who has boxed for 25 years is one of the most coherent and smart guys I know. All I know is that playing and watching football has given me great pleasure over the years and if they reconsidered heading the ball because of a study, well I might as well croak it now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red-And-Proud View Post
    I wouldn't mind but dementia can happen to people who never played football or anything using the head physically, my mates dad has it and he was told it just happens- so in your scenario the next Messi could opt for the normal job and still get some form of mental disease or dementia
    To be honest how many age 65+ ex footballers now have a brain injury and how many 65+ ex accountants have a brain injury? I dont know but I'd be surprised if there was a huge difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klopphopper View Post
    You are one of the guys I really respect on this board so I take notice of what you say. Every sport and every job has its dangers. Life has its dangers. When I was in the army I had a kid drop a live grenade virtually in front of me. Somehow we both survived. Someone else may have died. **** happens to good people all the time. Apart from Gary Neville I don't see too many brain dead ex players just like a mate of mine who has boxed for 25 years is one of the most coherent and smart guys I know. All I know is that playing and watching football has given me great pleasure over the years and if they reconsidered heading in the ball because of a study, well I might as well croak it now.
    Totally agree mate, that's exactly my point, that study I posted while interesting also lacks context and a wider perspective.

    Like you suggest, the happiness provided by these activities can far outweigh any slight risk of injury and as you say, in any activity or walk of life terrible things can happen or we can do things that contribute to poor health (diet, lack of exercise, smoking, drinking, driving, flying etc etc etc).

    The 'could be' related to something like dementia is one big 'could' too.

    In football I'd say the trade off seems fairly minimal and even then its always down to individuals to choose for themselves.

    Its important to consider risks but at the same time there is almost this mad drive at times to eliminate all risk and sometimes on tenuous findings while eliminating personal responsibility and choices
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    Funny you should say that, I was of that standard myself but was told I might be doing myself harm so packed it all in to be an accountant.

    My life is so much better now, I can't afford any medical treatment for all my other ailments and growing health issues...but at least I know my head won't be quite as bad as the rest of me and that is one less expense.....unless I fall on it, get walloped in it, run accidentally into a tree, come off my bike, have an accident of any description involving my head
    Good point. As I said apart from the Neville brothers who are the mentally incapable ex players we are referring to?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klopphopper View Post
    Good point. As I said apart from the Neville brothers who are the mentally incapable ex players we are referring to?
    They are such an extreme example, especially Phil, who unfortunately as well as clearly suffering mentally from head injuries, his slack jaw look would suggest some in breeding
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    Funny you should say that, I was of that standard myself but was told I might be doing myself harm so packed it all in to be an accountant.

    My life is so much better now, I can't afford any medical treatment for all my other ailments and growing health issues...but at least I know my head won't be quite as bad as the rest of me and that is one less expense.....unless I fall on it, get walloped in it, run accidentally into a tree, come off my bike, have an accident of any description involving my head


    Quote Originally Posted by Klopphopper View Post
    You are one of the guys I really respect on this board so I take notice of what you say. Every sport and every job has its dangers. Life has its dangers. When I was in the army I had a kid drop a live grenade virtually in front of me. Somehow we both survived. Someone else may have died. **** happens to good people all the time. Apart from Gary Neville I don't see too many brain dead ex players just like a mate of mine who has boxed for 25 years is one of the most coherent and smart guys I know. All I know is that playing and watching football has given me great pleasure over the years and if they reconsidered heading the ball because of a study, well I might as well croak it now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Klopphopper View Post
    Good point. As I said apart from the Neville brothers who are the mentally incapable ex players we are referring to?
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    Quote Originally Posted by grenny158 View Post
    Absolutely .. and the fact that they aren't - or don't seem to be - indicates their current level of concern about this. And, if the players themselves (who obviously are the ones this would potentially affect) or the PFA are doing nothing about it, why should supporters be concerned or do anything about it?
    Exactly, the current evidence is based upon 6 people, as such it is of no scientific significance and therefore, no conclusions can be drawn.

    Compete a genuine study - and NO, a genuine study does not mean waiting until the players are dead and maybe the findings will be more seriously considered.
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    Quote Originally Posted by reallash View Post
    Exactly, the current evidence is based upon 6 people, as such it is of no scientific significance and therefore, no conclusions can be drawn.

    Compete a genuine study - and NO, a genuine study does not mean waiting until the players are dead and maybe the findings will be more seriously considered.
    Studies have been made, all be it on girls 'soccer' in the US but still studies have been done. They come back pretty inconclusive imo. 4.5G's for heading a ball front on, even if men can head (and most do) head the ball much harder I cant see it being much higher than 20G's for front headers. Side headers were 27G's though but consider a heavyweight boxer getting hit at over 100G's then its nothing in comparison.
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    We should all obviously be wrapped up in bubble wrap as soon as we're spat out by our mothers. You can die if you trip and fall taking a casual stroll. You can die choking on food. You can die falling off your bed.

    What a dangerous world we live in.

    😭
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    In brief summary, bubble wrap caps are the only way to go

    Sponsors will love them and every kid will want a bubble wrap cap just like their hero.

    I can see the advert now:

    "If I don't wear a bubble wrap cap, when I grow up, I'll only be good enough for a dementia ward."

    "Dementia ward? Who are they?"

    "Sorry, do I know you?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by welshypool View Post
    In brief summary, bubble wrap caps are the only way to go

    Sponsors will love them and every kid will want a bubble wrap cap just like their hero.

    I can see the advert now:

    "If I don't wear a bubble wrap cap, when I grow up, I'll only be good enough for a dementia ward."

    "Dementia ward? Who are they?"

    "Sorry, do I know you?"
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    Bubble wrap caps may cause deafness though, if popped in close proximity to the ears.
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Monk- View Post
    Bubble wrap caps may cause deafness though, if popped in close proximity to the ears.


    True that, we'll have to give them tiny ear cushions too, buy one bubble wrap cap get an ear cushion free
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    DreamingOfKlopp is online now Academy prospect
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Monk- View Post
    Bubble wrap caps may cause deafness though, if popped in close proximity to the ears.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrytibbs View Post
    Clearly true, look at Paul Merson.

    FACT.
    Need a brain in the first place to get brain damage.
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