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February 16, 2000

Brain Injury in Amateur Soccer Players

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(7):882-883. doi:10.1001/jama.283.7.882

To the Editor: The article by Dr Matser and colleagues1 is the latest in an increasingly worrisome series of studies documenting subtle brain injury among longtime soccer players. Brain atrophy,2 electroencephalographic changes,3 and deficits in memory, concentration, and alertness4 have been documented in veteran professional soccer players. Matser et al found that amateur soccer players performed significantly worse in tests of memory and planning than did control runners and swimmers, and that the degree of cognitive impairment correlated with the number of concussions previously incurred, leading to chronic traumatic brain injury.