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Heading a football causes impairment of brain function

October 2016 - Heading a football causes impairment of brain function
Heading a football causes impairment of brain function

TMS detected acute changes in brain function after a single session of football heading practice

SINAPSE scientists from the University of Stirling discovered changes in brain function and memory test performance following routine football heading. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), an increase in cortical silent period duration was detected immediately after a single session of football heading practice, reflecting increased activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. Temporary impairment of short and long term memory function was also found.

The study, published in EBioMedicine, has received press coverage from sources including BBC News (with video!), The Guardian, and ScienceDaily. Dr Magdalena Ietswaart was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 live Drive, which can be heard here (at 2:36).

Further recognition includes the prize for Best Proffered Talk awarded to Thomas Di Virgilio for his presentation of this work at the 2016 SINAPSE ASM!

An excellent summary by the study's authors is available at The Conversation.