I have blogged a couple of times in the past on the relationship between heading and brain injury. A new study has been published, the first of its kind, to study the effects of repetitive heading of a soccer ball on the brain and whether there is damage associated with such activity. Again, this study is not focused on traumatic head-to-head contact in a soccer match or even head to post contact or head to ground (most other studies of soccer head injuries were associated with those triggers). The study in this case was based on repetitive heading of the ball, particularly in training sessions as most of the repetitions occur there. Here are links to different summaries of the study:
The material for the article was pulled from the June 2013 Journal Radiology. Here is the link to its website: http://radiology.rsna.org/content/current
Prior blog submissions are here:
There are options for protective gear. The study was of amateur adults players around 30 years old. I would imagine the risk would be greater with youth prior to the time their skulls are finished forming/growing (but I am not a doctor!). I have purchased the protective headgear and will have my children start wearing them. The Full90 pieces will be hot in the summer, but this is not something that I am willing to risk.