The prestigious Washington Post referes to the study of the collective of authors led by Peter Filipčík from The Institute of Neuroimmunology SAS
In its article from August 16, 2023, the Washington Post refers to the latest study developed under the supervision of doc. RNDr. Petr Filipčík, CSc. from the Institute of Neuroimmunology (NiÚ) SAS, which deals with pathological processes that arise after head injuries.
The first author of the study is RNDr. Martin Čente, PhD., from the same SAS institute. The results of the long-term cooperation of the Institute of Neuroimmunology SAS, Trnava University and the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports of the Comenius University in Bratislava were published in JAMA Network Open in March 2023. Researchers have observed persistent imbalances in blood levels of tau proteins in elite football players following subliminal ball impacts during heading. "This imbalance may indicate the existence of pathological processes in the brains of contact sports players long before the first symptoms of the disease appear," says doc. Peter Filipčík, head of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory of the Institute of Neuroimmunology SAS. According to the scientist, the findings of the study are important in evaluating the consequences of subliminal and repeated head injuries in the context of an increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders in players of contact sports. "In addition, the results also contribute to the understanding of the etiopathogenesis of sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies," adds P. Filipčík.
Heading may be attractive to the viewer´s eyes but can lead to brain damage and cause serious diseases in later life. The conclusions of the study by Slovak scientists are also confirmed by other research cited by the Washington Post. As part of prevention, doc. Peter Filipčík advises to avoid heading in football, especially before and during puberty. "Do not focus on heading during a critical period of brain development, do not underestimate any headaches, return to the game only after full recovery," the neuroimmunologist tells everyone involved. He advises players of contact sports to leave the field in case of any headaches, either after heading or the head injury. "The results of our study clearly show that even very mild head concussions increase the level of molecular biomarkers that in the past were exclusively associated with neurodegeneration and traumatic brain injury," Peter Filipčík confirms the findings of the study for the Washington Post.
The Washington Post addressed the issue of the impact of heading on possible dementia in connection with the culmination of the 2023 Women's World Cup.
Spracovala: Andrea Nozdrovická