Neuropsychological impairment as a consequence of football (soccer) play and football heading: preliminary analyses and report on university footballers

A. Rutherford, R. Stephens, D. Potter, G. Fernie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Previous research has claimed neuropsychological impairment occurs as a result of professional and amateur football play, and, specifically, football heading. However, much of this research exhibits substantial methodological problems (Rutherford, Stephens, P Potter, 2003). By investigating less committed amateur level footballers, the current study sought to gain some insight into the developmental history of any neuropsychological consequences of football play. University football, rugby and noncontact sports players were compared on a range of biographical and neuropsychological test variables. While playing their chosen sports, rugby players sustained many more head injuries than footballers and noncontact sportsmen, but footballers did not sustain significantly more head injuries than noncontact sportsmen. The number of head injuries sustained predicted Trails B and TAP Divided Attention latencies in a positive fashion. After controlling for the number of head injuries sustained, sport group effects were detected with TAP Divided Attention accuracy scores, with footballers exhibiting poorest performance. After controlling for the number of head injuries sustained, the total amount of heading done by footballers predicted the number of Wisconsin Card Sorting category shifts in a negative fashion. Nevertheless, over interpretation of all of these results should be resisted because of the exploratory nature of the analyses and the possibility that the sport groups may differ in ways other than just the nature of their sports activities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)299-319
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
    Volume27
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Keywords

    • TRAUMATIC BRAIN-INJURY, CONCUSSION, SEVERITY, RECOVERY

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neuropsychological impairment as a consequence of football (soccer) play and football heading: preliminary analyses and report on university footballers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this