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Articles, tests & data

FIFA:s Health and Fitness forthe Female Football PlayerA guide for players and coaches.

Head injuries – never to be underestimated

One injury that is particularly troubling is an injury to the head. You need to be aware of two major points: firstly, with every head injury, you may suffer a concussion that must be carefully looked for. Secondly, if you have suffered a concussion, the crucial question is when you can safely return to play.

Injuries to the head occur far more often during match play than in training and are the second most common location of injuries after the lower extremity. About half of all head injuries are contusions (bruises of the soft tissues). In men, the next most common head injury is a laceration, but in women, the next most common injury is concussion. Most studies to date have shown that women suffer a concussion about twice as often as men. They also report more severe symptoms and seem to have less favourable outcomes. Whether or not this is a true difference or the result of more vigilant self-observation is unclear. Entire article here

 "There is not one protective headgear in the world for any sport that can eliminate concussions. Our protective headgear, like all of the others, is designed to significantly reduce the severity of the impact and nothing more. It is never advisable to play with an existing or prior brain injury in a contact or collision sport without being properly evaluated by a medical specialist experienced in brain injuries. Do not play hurt and do not play injured. Your brain is the most important organ in your body. Preserve and protect your quality of life." – Dr. C. J. Abraham

"Below you will find many articles, scientific reports ect in regards to concussions in sports, headtrauma in sports etc. All you need to know in order to realize how crucial headprotection is. We really urge you to take your time and study below."

How to diagnose a concussion "SCAT 2, Sport concussion assessment tool 2" from FIFA, IIHF, Olympic comitte and the international Rugby board

What is the SCAT2?1 This tool represents a standardized method of evaluating injured athletes for concussion and can be used in athletes
aged from 10 years and older. It supersedes the original SCAT published in 20052. This tool also enables the calculation of the
Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC)3, 4 score and the Maddocks questions5 for sideline concussion assessment.

Entire text here

North Pocono soccer player takes on concussions head on

The Times-Tribune BY SHANE HENNIGAN Published: October 16, 2014

North Pocono senior soccer player Drew Collins wears a fully-padded headband meant to protect himself from concussions. As part of his senior project, Collins raised enough money to outfit the schools’ soccer teams with the same type of headband.

North Pocono soccer coach Dave Davis recalls when Drew Collins came out for the team. A big and strong freshman, Collins played with a passion coaches love to see. It resulted in a strong start to his high school soccer career. That start, however, was halted in a junior varsity match midway through the season. Collins was sprinting downfield, trying to make a play on the ball when he fell to the ground and was inadvertently kicked in the head. He blacked out.  When he got up, Collins remembers having a splitting headache and was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion. He missed the rest of the season.

Entire article here

The Cost of the Header

The New Yorker, By Sam Knight Oktober 2, 2014

Last week, the New York Times reported that Bellini, Brazil’s team captain in the 1958 World Cup, who died in March, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease best known in the United States for its victims among former boxers and N.F.L. players. Bellini was not the first soccer player to have been identified with C.T.E. Last February, Patrick Grange, an American semi-professional player who died in 2012, at the age of twenty-nine, was also found to have suffered from the disease. As a result, the question has been growing, with some urgency this year, as to whether soccer, like other contact sports, has its own brain-injury case to answer.

In England, where I live, and where soccer is a national, multibillion-dollar obsession, we had a chance twelve years ago to get on top of the possible risks of head injury in the game, after Jeff Astle, a legendary striker for West Bromwich Albion, a club in the Midlands, died in retirement at the age of fifty-nine. Astle, a prolific header of the ball, had received a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Following his death, however, a neuropathologist found that he had in fact been suffering from dementia pugilistica, or boxer’s disease, as C.T.E. was then commonly known. In a widely reported ruling, the local coroner attributed Astle’s illness to soccer. The verdict was “death by industrial disease.”

Entire article here

Brazilian soccer star Bellini has CTE diagnosed, just as FIFA revamps concussion protocol

The Washington post, September 23, 2014

Brazilian soccer star Bellini, who, along with Pele, lead Brazil to World Cup victories in 1958 and 1962, did not die of Alzheimer’s, as originally thought in March. Instead, the 83-year-old was diagnosed posthumously this month with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease that’s been linked to repeated concussions, The New York Times reports. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University and the Bedford Veterans Administration Medical Center, made the new diagnosis, and noted Bellini’s case as only the second confirmed case of CTE in a soccer player, a disease most often associated with American football and at the center of an NFL settlement with former players.

Entire text here


Concussions Can’t Be Ignored by Soccer Any More

Class Action Concussion Lawsuit Filed Against FIFA And U.S. Soccer Associations

Forbes 27/8 2014 Darren Heitner

A Class Action Complaint on behalf of current and former soccer players has been filed against the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) along with other U.S.-based soccer associations for the alleged failure to adopt effective policies to evaluate and manage concussions.  The lawsuit, currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, does not seek monetary damages.  Instead, the plaintiffs are looking change the rules of the sport of soccer (including an alteration to FIFA’s substitution protocols) and to establish a medical monitoring program, while the attorneys on the case request their costs and attorneys’ fees to be covered by the named defendants.

“FIFA’s and U.S. Soccer’s failure to act and protect these young players is no longer acceptable, given the epidemic of concussive injuries and the failure to implement important advances in medical treatments and protocols,” said playiffs’ attorney Derek Howard of San Francisco-based Minami Tamaki LLP.  ”High school soccer players suffer an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of concussions compared to other youth sports.”

Entire article here

Middle School Female Soccer Players At Greatest Risk For Concussions

Physicians News 19/8 2014, Alan Lyndon

Concussions have become synonymous with sports.  Most of the research has focused on adults, particularly college football players.  But it appears that a different group may be at greatest risk for sports-related head injuries: middle school, female soccer players.

In similar sports, girls have higher rates of concussions than boys.  The highest rate for each gender is found in football for boys and soccer for girls.  The rates of concussions are slightly higher for middle school aged female soccer players than for male high school football players – 1.2 vs. 1.03 per 1000 athlete exposure hours in practice and games, respectively.

The data “suggest that the need for medical supervision for girls’ elite youth soccer may be at least equal to that for high school sports,” said Cynthia LaBella of the Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, in a JAMA review article.

Concussions are traumatic brain injuries characterized by, among other things:

  • a direct blow to the head or blow to the body that transmits an “impulsive” force to the head
  • rapid onset of short-lived neurologic impairment that resolves spontaneously
  • possible loss of consciousness

Entire article here

For pro-soccer players, concussion increases risk of other injuries: study

Friday, August 08, 2014 12:01 p.m. CDT By Kathryn Doyle

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Professional soccer players who sustain a concussion are more likely to suffer another injury over the next year than players with other injuries, like groin strains or hamstring pulls, according to a new study from Sweden.

Researchers used data from the ongoing Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League injury study. Participants included 46 all-male pro soccer teams at the highest level of the sport in 10 countries.

Between 2001 and 2012, 1,665 players sustained more than 8,000 injuries. Sixty-six players sustained at least one concussion, the teams reported.

Entire article here


Concussions in Professional Soccer: What Needs To Be Done?

19-08-2014 Vavel the international sports newspaper, Anthony Cardamone

Three concussions occurred during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and all three players put their careers and lives at risk by continuing to play. Here's what can be done to prevent the mental health of professional soccer players.

Headaches. Depression. Amnesia. Failure to fully concentrate.

Those are effects of post-concussion syndrome that 20-year old Kari Grandstaff deals with on a daily basis.

While a sophomore at Novi High School in Novi, Michigan, she suffered a concussion while playing indoor soccer. She was tripped up by an opponent she had gotten into an argument with earlier in the match. Grandstaff fell face-first onto ground and was knocked unconscious.

For those unfamiliar with indoor soccer, there is a thin layer of turf over a large layer concrete, meaning Kari basically fell face-first onto rock solid concrete.

"I went to the hospital, got diagnosed with a case-four concussion and came out the next day thinking that it was just a concussion - like I'll be back at it in a week," says Grandstaff, now a freshman at Ohio State University. "Little did I know that was not the case."

Entire article here

Brain Trauma Extends to the Soccer Field,

FEB. 26, 2014

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head, has been found posthumously in a 29-year-old former soccer player, the strongest indication yet that the condition is not limited to athletes who played sports known for violent collisions, like football and boxing.

Researchers at Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System, who have diagnosed scores of cases of C.T.E., said the player, Patrick Grange of Albuquerque, was the first named soccer player found to have C.T.E. On a four-point scale of severity, his disease was considered Stage 2.

Grange, who died in April 2012 after being found to have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was especially proud of his ability to head the ball, said his parents, Mike and Michele. They recalled him as a 3-year-old, endlessly tossing a soccer ball into the air and heading it into a net, a skill that he continued to practice and display in college and in top-level amateur and semiprofessional leagues in his quest to play Major League Soccer.
Entire article here!


Head injury increases suicide risk,

[PRESS RELEASE 16/1/2014] Survivors of traumatic brain injury are three times more likely to die prematurely than the general population, often from suicide or fatal injuries, finds a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Oxford. Concussion, a milder form of head injury, doubled the risk of premature death. The findings are published in the science journal JAMA Psychiatry

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow to the head that leads to a skull fracture, internal bleeding, or loss of consciousness for longer than one hour. Concussions are less severe and were analysed separately. Researchers examined Swedish medical records going back 41 years covering 218,300 TBI survivors, 150,513 siblings of TBI survivors and over two million general population controls matched by sex and age. Premature deaths were defined as occurring before age 56.

Entire article here

Soccer Headgear Cuts Concussion Risk in Half, Study Says

McGill Study First To Show Effectiveness of Protective Headgear

Headgear Protects

Teenage soccer players who wear protective headgear suffer nearly half as many concussions as those who play without protective headgear, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Canada's McGill University.

Researchers followed 250 adolescent (ages 12 to 17) soccer players during the 2006 season. They found that 53 percent of those who did not wear protective soccer headgear suffered concussions compared to 27 percent of those who wore safety gear.

Entire article here


Soccer Heading Is Associated with White Matter Microstructural and Cognitive Abnormalities

From the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center (M.L.L., N.K., C.A.B.), Department of Radiology (M.L.L., N.K., C.A.B.), Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (M.L.L.), the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience (M.L.L.), the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology (M.E.Z., R.B.L.), Department of Epidemiology and Population Health (M.K., R.B.L.), and Department of Physiology and Biophysics (C.A.B.), Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, 1300 Morris Park Ave, Bronx, NY 10461; Department of Radiology, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY (M.L.L.); and Sutter Health, Sacramento, Calif (W.F.S.).

Does Playing Soccer Change the Brain?

White-matter integrity alterations seen in 12 soccer pros, even in the absence of symptomatic concussion, Harvard Medical School, Tim Sullivan.

In the first study to show alterations in white matter in professional soccer players, HMS researchers and colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich investigated the brains of 12 soccer players using high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging to investigate structural changes in the brain, specifically white-matter architecture. White matter is the communication network responsible for communicating messages between neurons (gray matter) in the brain.

Entire articel here! 

 Like NFL, European soccer needs to tackle brain damage head on

 By Nicholas Nehamas

Research has shown that the brain structure of soccer players undergo changes that other athletes with low exposure to head trauma do not.

In a collaborative study between Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Germany, scientists found that the brains of 12 young German soccer players without a history of concussion showed signs of mild traumatic brain injury. The damage affected players’ “white matter,” which serves as a sort of connective tissue for signals between different regions of the brain. According to a news release from HMS, the impairment was most extensive in white matter located in regions of the brain “known to be responsible for attention, visual processing, higher order thinking and memory.”

Entire article here!

Player whose career was ended takes on concussions in soccer

As multiple studies show how risky soccer can be, Taylor Twellman, a former MLS MVP, is working to get the word out to professional and youth players, By Kevin Baxter Los Angeles Times.

Reporting from Glendale, Ariz. — "I look completely normal, right?" a completely normal-looking Taylor Twellman says.

It's something he asks often, and the response is always the same: nodding heads, words of affirmation, smiles.

In reality, though, Twellman is far from normal.

Three and a half years ago, the then-New England Revolution forward and former Major League Soccer most valuable player was accidentally punched in the jaw by Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin while scoring on a header. Although Twellman didn't know it then — and wouldn't for months — he sustained a concussion on the play. And despite appearances, he hasn't been normal since.

 Entire article here!

Her biggest save

Soccer star confronts the concussion that killed her career and clouded her life (Washington Post)

Briana Scurry couldn’t be sure if it was the painkillers or the fact that surgeons had just plucked pea-size balls of damaged tissue from the back of her head. But when the two-time Olympic goalkeeper and Women’s World Cup champion awoke at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Oct. 18,  the headache that had hijacked her life for the past 3-1/2 years was gone.

Above: Briana Scurry suffered from headaches and depression after she sustained a concussion while playing for the Washington Freedom in 2010.

Since an April 2010 game, when an overeager forward slammed into Scurry, that headache chased her from one defeat to another: forcing her to quietly retire from soccer, tripping her up during a short-lived gig with ESPN and finally pushing her into depression. Her roommate would come home from work and find Scurry listless on the couch, where she’d been all afternoon.


Entire article here!

Dr. Michael L. Lipton of Albert Einstein College of Medicine: “a clear need to better protect the heads and brains of soccer players”

“Research studies, including our own, are revealing the importance and prevalence of soccer-related head injuries,” says Dr. Michael L. Lipton, associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and aglobally-recognized leading researcher on soccer head injuries. “These injuries frequently result from head-to-head, head-to-ground and head-to-goal post impacts, as well as from heading the soccer ball itself. All of these common impacts can potentially have significant short- and long-term effects on brain function. There is thus a clear need to better protect the heads and brains of soccer players. The sport needs approaches that limit the number, severity and frequency of impacts; allow adequate post-impact recovery; and identify vulnerable players. Enhanced protective devices, such as effective head guards, may potentially have a role in soccer head injury mitigation."

Soccer Players Show Signs of Brain Damage

Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse 

Repetitive hits on the head that are below the threshold for causing a concussion may still result in changes in the brain's white matter, a small study of soccer players suggested.

On average, elite male soccer players -- who often use their heads to direct the ball -- had a range of negative changes in white matter architecture compared with a group of competitive swimmers 

Entire article here


Motor System Alterations in Retired Former

Louis De Beaumont, Sébastien Tremblay, Luke C Henry, Judes Poirier, Maryse Lassonde, Hugo
BMC Neurol. 2013;13(109)

Results Our results indicate that motor learning is significantly reduced in former concussed athletes relative to controls.
In addition, glutamate/H2O ratio in M1 was disproportionately reduced in concussed athletes with advancing age and
was found to strongly correlate with motor learning impairments. Read more here



The Prevalence of Undiagnosed Concussions in Athletes

Author Information 

*Sports Concussion Clinic, Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts;The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Boston, Massachusetts;Brain Injury Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; §Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; and Sports Medicine Concussion Program, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Corresponding Author: William P. Meehan III, MD, Sports Concussion Clinic, Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 319 Longwood Ave, Floor 6, Boston, MA 02115 (

Supported by National Institutes of Health Grants T32 HD040128 to 06A1 (to W.P. Meehan) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants K12 HD052896 to 01A1 (to R.C. Mannix).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received October 18, 2012

Accepted February 28, 2013

Link to article in Clinical journal of sportsmedicine Here

 Subconcussive Head Impacts in Soccer and a Method for Significantly Absorbing, Reducing and Dissipating Those Forces

Dr. C. J. Abraham1 and Scott R. Abraham, Esq.2

Subconcussive impacts to the head, which do not meet the threshold level of a concussive force, have become a
hidden epidemic in the world of contact sports, including soccer. Soccer players at all levels are subjected to these
types of impacts every time they head a soccer ball. Subconcussive impacts are of increased concern to young
athletes whose brains are not fully developed and who may be susceptible to enhanced brain injuries. Recent
studies have shown that subconcussive insults not only lower the threshold for concussions, but can in and of
themselves cause long‐term brain trauma. Notwithstanding these studies, many questions remain unanswered
and more research is needed to determine the short‐ and long‐term effects of repeated subconcussive impacts.

Entire article here


Your body is nothing without a brain!

How many times have parents or coaches of children playing a contact sport seen a child get “bonged” or “dinged?” More
importantly, how often does that experience go unacknowledged and unreported? For decades, as spectators, we have enjoyed
watching athletic teams of all ages face off and score those points. The participants take pride in displaying their athletic performances.
Whether they block the offense, make a winning pass, or simply run up and down the field, sports will always be a source of pleasure,
challenge, and fitness to a large segment of our population. Many parents experience vicarious excitement
and pleasure watching their children participate in sports.

Entire article here

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: A Potential Late Effect of Sport-Related Concussive and Subconcussive Head Trauma,

Brandon E. Gavett, PhDa,b, Robert A. Stern, PhDa,b,
Ann C. McKee, MDa,b,c,d,*
It has been understood for decades that certain sporting activities may increase an athlete’s risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease later in life. Not surprisingly, this association was originally noted in boxers, athletes who receive numerous blows to the head during training and competition. In 1928, Harrison Martland, a New Jersey pathologist and medical examiner, first described the clinical spectrum of abnormalities
found in “nearly one half of the fighters who have stayed in the game long enough.”1 

Entire article here

Ottawa investing millions to study impact of concussion on developing brains

(The Globe and Mail)

The Canadian government is launching a multimillion dollar national initiative to study the impact of concussion on the developing brain in response to growing concerns about children’s safety in hockey and other sports.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced Monday in Calgary that $4.3-million in federal grants will go to 19 new and ongoing concussion research projects. Many are aimed at solving unanswered questions about how mild traumatic brain injuries, commonly known as concussions, affect children and youth.

Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the research projects will receive an additional $3.2-million from other sources, including Defence Research and Development Canada, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, for a total investment of $7.5-million.

Entire article here!


League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis

See the TV-Show here