Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Header affects the players' brain activity

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York (United States) ensure that those players who topped head between 1,000 and 1,500 times a year have affected the activity of nerve fibers or axons of certain brain regions.

This follows from the results of a study presented at the last meeting of the American Society of Radiology, held recently in Chicago (USA). In fact, one of its authors, Michael Lipton, ensures that changes are "similar to those caused by trauma."

Lipton and his team scanned the brains of 32 non-professional players, with an average of 31 years of age, who had practiced the sport since childhood.

They used magnetic resonance imaging system called DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imagine) that captures brain imaging in vivo, evaluating the microscopic changes in nerve fibers that make up white matter of the brain called axons, which act as communication cables between different regions .

After observing the movement of water molecules in these fibers, the researchers have concluded that the fact that these molecules to pass to move it uniformly randomly associated with cognitive impairment, which occurs in patients with traumatic brain injury.

Once calculated the headers that ran each player a year and then comparing the brain scans of those who performed more pitching with the rest, observed that "between the two groups had differences in five regions of the brain in the frontal lobe and temporo-occipital region. "

These areas, as explained Lipton told the News and Information Service Science (SINC) are related to attention, memory, and some important visual features.

"Top with the head does not have an impact capable of damaging nerve fibers in the brain, but continued to do it themselves," says this expert, who points out that "the speed at which the ball travels in professional football is almost double than the amateur. "

"Some players make headers more than 5,000 per year, most of them during training. Exercises in which the players nod a ball coming towards them are very common, more so in professional training," says Lipton, who advocates "take into account these results to protect the players."


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