Footballers run the risk of incurring mild head injury from a variety of sources, including the intentional use of the head to play the ball, known as heading. This paper presents a preliminary exploratory analysis of data collected to examine whether cumulative incidence of mild head injury, or cumulative heading frequency, are related to neuropsychological functioning in male adolescent footballers. In a quasi-experimental cross-sectional design, neuropsychological test scores of school team footballers were compared with those of similarly aged rugby players and noncontact sport players. Cumulative mild head injury incidence was estimated using self-reports, and cumulative heading was estimated using a combination of observation and self-reports. No participants had sustained a head injury within 3 months of testing. There was no relationship between head injury and neuropsychological performance, and there were no decrements in either the footballers or the rugby players in comparison with the noncontact sport players. Within the footballers, cumulative heading did not predict any of the neuropsychological test scores. These findings indicate the absence of neuropsychological impairment arising due to cumulative mild head injury incidence, or cumulative heading. Although these null findings may be reassuring to players, parents, and football organizers, we stress that they are preliminary. Further data is being collected from the same populations to provide more reliable effect estimates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: La relación entre factores psicológicos y lesiones deportivas ha sido objeto de estudio por los investigadores desde hace años, y aunque se pueden establecer líneas de investigación muy claras, sigue existiendo una gran dispersión de datos, teorías y conceptos. Partiendo de este estado de cosas, se ha considerado la necesidad de definir un modelo global psicológico de lesiones deportivas, que sea comprensivo, multi-conceptual, predictivo y demostrable empírica y/o experimentalmente. En este trabajo se presenta el Modelo Global Psicológico de las Lesiones Deportivas (MGPsLD), con los tres ejes que lo definen: un eje causal, un eje temporal y un eje conceptual. Asimismo, se revisan las variables psicológicas y situacionales del MGPsLD más relevantes aparecidas en la literatura científica; y, finalmente, se determinan las consecuencias metodológicas que se derivan del uso de este modelo. Por último, se discute la necesidad de la validación del modelo, en sus tres ejes, lo que implica el desarrollo de una estrategia global de estudios empíricos.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease of largely unknown cause, predominantly affecting upper and lower motor neurons. A recent study in Italy suggested an increased incidence of ALS among professional Italian soccer players. We report a cluster of three amateur league soccer players who were friends from the same part of southern England, and developed ALS simultaneously. This might suggest that keen amateur soccer players are also at risk.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: official publication of the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Motor Neuron Diseases 07/2007; 8(3):177-9. DOI:10.1080/17482960701195220 · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although research is accumulating on the cognitive sequelae from sports-related concussions in men, little to nothing is known about the prolonged cognitive outcome after a concussion in women. This point is important because recent evidence suggests that female athletes are at greater risk of sustaining a concussion.
We assessed cognitive functioning after a first concussion in female soccer players, 6 to 8 months after their injury. The first-time concussed athletes were compared with a group of age-matched teammates who had never experienced a concussion.
A total of 22 female university-level soccer players participated in the study.
Paper-and-pencil and computerized tasks were used to assess different neuropsychological functions.
Short- and long-term verbal memory, attention, and simple reaction time were normal. In contrast, compared with the control group, the concussed athletes were significantly slower on tasks that required decision making (complex reaction time), inhibition and flexibility (Stroop), and planning (Tour of London task).
The results of this study suggest that cognitive functions related to cognitive processing speed are most vulnerable to a sports-related concussion and are still impaired for a half year after injury in university-level female soccer players.
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 10/2007; 17(5):369-74. DOI:10.1097/JSM.0b013e31814c3e3e · 2.27 Impact Factor
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