Scandinavian Sports Workshop

At the 14th Scandinavian Congress of Medicine and Science in Sports, held in Kopenhagen, Denmark from February 1st to 3rd this year, PD Dr. Alexander Tarnutzer gave a talk about long-term effects of head injuries and repetitive heading in football players. Key elements of his speech were a critical analysis of the previously published studies on this topic regarding their strengths and weaknesses and an in-depth discussion, how long-term effects of head injuries could be examined better and eventually minimized in the future. During his talk, Dr. Tarnutzer was addressing methodologic flaws of existing studies and emphasized, that currently no clear evidence for long-term impairment of brain functions and structure due to repetitive heading in football exists. Repetitive head injuries and resulting concussion, however, may possibly be related to persistent neurocognitive deficits. Furthermore, Dr. Tarnutzer emphasized the need for future prospective high-quality studies over an extended period of time and with an assessment of diverse brain functions / structures including neurocognitive testing, neuroimaging and balance testing