Researchers receive $3.4 million NIH grant to assess soccer’s tradeoffs with respect to brain health

More than 25 million Americans play soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Soccer significantly benefits brain health by boosting aerobic capacity and oxygen and blood flow to the brain, but it also has a downside: Recent studies show that highly repetitive heading of the ball is associated with structural brain changes and worse cognitive performance similar to brain damage caused by concussion.