News and Media

Soccer Heading Linked to Measurable Decline in Brain Function

The Times of London, November 28, 2023

The Times of London interviewed Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD about new research presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, by lab members Joan Song, Molly Charney, and himself, on the effects of soccer heading on brain structure and function.

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How Many Headbutters Are Unhealthy

Berlingske July, 2023

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, is interviewed and profiled by a leading Danish newspaper on the potential for soccer heading to cause dementia in professional players.

  • How Many Headbutters Are Unhealthy (Danish)
  • How Many Headbutters Are Unhealthy (English)

Talking ‘COVID Brain’: New Study Explores Risks

News12 TV March, 2023

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, and Johanna Daily, MD, MS, discuss their National Institutes of Health grant to study how COVID-19 affects brain function in young adults who had mild or asymptomatic infection.

Effects of COVID-19 on the Brain

BronxNet TV July, 2022

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, and Johanna Daily, MD, MS, discuss their National of Institutes Health grant to study how COVID-19 affects brain function in young adults who had mild or asymptomatic infection.

Nerve Damage in Long COVID May Arise From Immune Dysfunction

Medical News Today March, 2022

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, notes the limitations of a small study linking nerve damage in long COVID to immune dysfunction, but says the underlying mechanism causing neuropathy is likely related to inflammation or autoimmunity.

Patients and Doctors are Clashing About Side Effects of Hormonal Birth Control

Stat News December, 2021

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, and June Ng, MD, comment on the lack of data about possible side effects of hormonal contraception.

Hysterical Women: Why is Hormonal Contraception Still Failing Us?

Refinery29 – September 09, 2020

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, discusses his study on the association between oral contraception use and the size of the brain’s hypothalamus in women.

Gene Test Might Spot Soccer Players at High Risk for Brain Trouble

US News & World Report – January 27, 2020

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, explains his published research suggesting that a gene variant, APOE-e4, increases the risk for cognitive impairment among amateur soccer players who most frequently head the ball.

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Oral Contraception Linked to Smaller Hypothalamus

Medscape – December 13, 2019

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, discusses his study, presented at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, on the association between oral contraception use and the size of the brain’s hypothalamus.

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Lawmaker Says Support Has Grown for Tackle Football Bill

News 12 TV November 27, 2019

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, says additional research is necessary to establish a causal link between youth football tackling and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Headers in Soccer Cause More Brain Damage in Women Than Men, New Study Says

USA Today – August 02, 2018

Research by Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, finds that soccer heading caused five times more brain damage in women than in men and that female players had eight brain regions where injuries were detected compared to three regions in males.

Calls for Football Authorities to Restrict Children Heading Ball Ramped Up After Latest Findings

The Telegraph – May 04, 2018

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, explains that soccer heading—not unintentional head impacts from collisions—causes more cognitive impairment than unintentional collisions.

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Heading a Soccer Ball May Hurt Women’s Brains More Than Men’s

Popular Science – November 15, 2017

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, describes his research that found women sustain more severe brain injury than men from soccer ball heading.

Brain Trauma Scientists Turn Their Attention to Soccer

Wired – July 27, 2017

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, discusses his research on the effect of heading in soccer on the brain.

Heading Commonly Causes Concussion Symptoms

NPR – February 1, 2017

NPR interviews Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, on his research that finds frequent soccer ball heading is a common and under-recognized cause of concussion symptoms.

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Diffusion Tensor Imaging Assesses Brain Injury

Sci Tech Now July 15, 2015

SciTechNow interviews Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, about the use of advanced imaging techniques in concussion research. Dr. Lipton explains how diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures the diffusion of water in the brain, allowing researchers to assess a potential injury.

Measuring Headers and Their Effects on the Brain

NPR June 15, 2015

WDDE (Delaware NPR) interviews Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, about the impact of heading in soccer on the brain. Dr. Lipton is collaborating with a researcher who is working with the University of Delaware women’s soccer team. The players wear a special device that measures the number, type and force of soccer balls to the head and Dr. Lipton images the players’ brains to determine what, if any, damage occurs over time.

Impact of Headers Incompletely Understood

Chicago Tribune May 7, 2015

The Chicago Tribune interviews Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, on research investigating the impact of “heading” in soccer on the brain. Dr. Lipton, whose findings are described in the article, suggests that it is still unclear what the real-world implications of heading on the brain function of players.

On Veterans Day, Cutting-Edge PTSD Research in N.Y.

Capital New York (Politico) November 11, 2014

Capital New York features research by Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, that examines the impact of repeated blast exposures on the brains of veterans. Dr. Lipton notes that more exposures result in increased abnormalities and worse symptoms

The Cost of the Header

The New Yorker October 2, 2014

The New Yorker reports on the growing concern about concussions in soccer. Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, discusses his research on head injury in amateur players from heading. Dr. Lipton’s studies have found that repeated, deliberate sub-concussive hits from heading damages the brains of players and leads to cognitive and memory problems.

FDA Warns Consumers: Dietary Supplements Cannot Treat Concussions

CBS News August 27, 2014

CBSNews.com interviews Michael Lipton, MD, PhD, about the FDA consumer alert for dietary supplements that falsely claim to prevent or cure concussions. Dr. Lipton notes that such claims may lead people to be less careful than they should and that the best way to prevent a concussion is to not have a head injury.

Room For Debate: How Risky is Heading in Soccer?

The New York Times June 30, 2014

A New York Times online op-ed section included a contribution from Michael Lipton, MD, PhD, on a new campaign to limit heading by youth soccer players. The discussion was sparked by a campaign launched by former Women’s U.S. National Soccer Team players who recommend heading be banned until players reach high school. The New York Times coverage on the campaign cited Dr. Lipton’s research on the impact of heading on amateur soccer players.

How Much Heading Is Too Much

The Boston Globe May 19, 2014

The Boston Globe highlights research by Michael Lipton, MD, PhD, on the long-term impact of repetitive heading in soccer on the brain. Dr. Lipton explains that with lower levels of heading, the brain may be able to repair itself in most players. However, there appears to be a tipping point— approximately 1,800 headers per year — where trauma results in long-term problems, such as memory loss.

Heading Effects Similar to Concussions?

The Economist April 12, 2014

The Economist cites research led by Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, that found those who frequently headed the ball in soccer had brain abnormalities similar to those found in patients with concussions.

First CTE Case in a Soccer Player

The New York Times February 26, 2014

The New York Times quotes Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, about his research on the impact of heading on soccer players. The article focuses on the first conclusive case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.) in a soccer player. Former New Mexico player, Patrick Grange, 29, died last April of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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Heading More Deleterious Than Concussions?

CNN June 12, 2013

CNN interviews Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, about his Radiology study that found frequent heading in soccer impacts brain function. Dr. Lipton notes that excessive sub-concussive hits to the head – rather than more serious concussions – may be the culprit for the brain injury he found in his study participants.

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Is Some Amount of Heading Safe?

New York 1 TV April 17, 2013

NY 1 interviews Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, about his ongoing research into whether “heading” in soccer may cause brain injury. Dr. Lipton notes that some amount of heading seems to be safe, although there is a threshold at which heading becomes dangerous.

Could Heading Lead to Neurodegenerative Disease?

NBC News March 4, 2013

Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, explains on NBC Nightly News the concern that “heading” in soccer may increase long-term risk for degenerative brain disease. Dr. Lipton was interviewed about a new study that used a specially designed tablet app to measure cognitive function and reflexes in a small group of female high school soccer players and non-athletes.

MRI to Predict Concussion Outcome

The Wall Street Journal November 20, 2012

The Wall Street Journal features research by Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, that uses a special MRI technique to predict long-term prognosis after a concussion. Dr. Lipton notes that most but not all concussion patients get better by themselves, and his research could help identify which patients need to be watched.

New Technique to Detect Brain Tissue Injury After Concussion

ABC News June 8, 2012

ABCNews.com features research by Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, that outlines a new technique for detecting concussion. Dr. Lipton notes that the findings may not only identify patients who sustain concussions but also provide guidance on the most effective treatments.

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Soccer Heading and Memory

The New York Times December 13, 2011

The New York Times features research by Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD, that shows frequent “heading” in soccer may lead to brain injury and memory loss in amateur players.

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New Method to Detect Brain Damage After Concussion

The Atlanta Journal Constitution August 28, 2009

Atlanta Journal-Constitution features research by Michael L Lipton, MD, PhD on a method to detect brain damage after concussions. The article, originally by Healthday, reports that diffusion tensor imaging, the brain scanning method used, could help in diagnosing concussions and in assessing the effectiveness of treatments.