Soccer Players Could Be at Risk for CTE — Physician’s First Watch
Soccer Players Could Be at Risk for CTE
By Joe Elia
Soccer players seem at risk for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a small case series in Acta Neuropathologica suggests.
Researchers followed 14 retired footballers who'd presented with dementia. There were a total of six reported concussions among the players during their average 26 years of play. Six had postmortem examinations of the brain; in four of these, features characteristic of CTE were present.
The authors "hypothesize that CTE and, probably, [other neuropathology such as Alzheimer's disease] in these retired footballers are related to their past prolonged exposure to repetitive subconcussive head impacts from heading and head-to-player collisions."
They caution that their findings do "not provide a firm causal relationship" with CTE, but support the "pressing need" for large-scale studies on which protective measure might be based.