Clinical Edge

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Genetic Factor Linked to Impaired Memory After Heading Many Soccer Balls

Key clinical point: Adult soccer players who frequently head the ball may have a heightened risk of memory impairment if they are carriers of the APOE e4 allele.

Major finding: Among APOE e4–positive players, there was a 4.1-fold increased deficit in verbal memory for those with high heading exposure, compared with those with low exposure.

Study details: Analysis of 352 adult amateur soccer players enrolled in the longitudinal Einstein Soccer Study.

Disclosures: Several study authors said they had received grants from the National Institutes of Health and affiliated institutes, the Migraine Research Foundation, and the National Headache Foundation. They reported disclosures related to Amgen, Avanir, Biohaven Holdings, Biovision, Boston Scientific, Eli Lilly, eNeura Therapeutics, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Pfizer, among others.


Hunter LE et al. JAMA Neurol. 2020 Jan 27. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.4828.