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Indy Doctor Says Soccer Head Trauma Study Flawed

A local high school student plays soccer.

An Indianapolis doctor is questioning a new study which shows brain damage may be caused by frequent heading of soccer balls by avid amateur players. The study says the brain damage causes a subtle but serious decline in thinking and coordination skills.

Dr. Todd Arnold with the Indianapolis-based Athletes Concussion Alliance notes the study was done on adult athletes and it is unclear what trauma they have suffered previously. Dr. Arnold does agree with one finding in the research, however:  that concussions suffered in soccer are the same as those in sports such as football.

“It‘s the same kind of collisions that we would see in football players,” Arnold says. “When they collide together, when they hit their heads together going for a header or they slip or someone takes them out and they hit the ground, it‘s the same kind of things when their head hits an immovable object like the Earth.”

Arnold says the average age of athletes in the study was 31. He says similar studies need to be done on younger athletes to find out when concussion symptoms start for soccer players.

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