Children constantly training and playing football are at risk of dementia, memory loss, doctors say

Turkish doctors put their weight behind the recent ban on heading the football in training sessions of children under 12. In 2020 so far, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland banned children under 12 years old from heading the football during training. There had already been a ban on heading the football for kids aged under 11 in the U.S. The headers will be banned in practice or training sessions but children will be allowed to use their heads during matches.The new guidelines have been in practice as of this February.

Prof. Dr. Fahrettin Kelestemur, an endocrinology specialist and medical coordinator of Yeditepe University Hospital, also said: “The negative effects of head traumas especially on the hormonal system in childhood and adults have been demonstrated by scientific studies."

"The most important causes of head injuries are traffic accidents, falls and violent practices. Also, sports injuries have been shown to cause brain damage and hormonal disorders in recent years," Kelestemur said.

"Hormonal deficiencies also lead to neuro-psychiatric findings such as depression, social isolation, memory disorders. It is very important to replace the missing hormone in patients with hormone deficiency. Early diagnosis is essential in order not to be late in treatment. We should protect every age group and especially children from head trauma," he added.

- ‘Children constantly playing football at risk’

neurology specialist at the Yeditepe University Kosuyolu Hospital, also said: “Hitting the ball with the head while playing football on the street once or twice a week does not lead to this. What we want to explain here is that the children who are constantly training and playing football are at risk."

"In the future, most likely, studies in this area will increase and we will be able to achieve clear results," she added.

According to neurologists, dementia or the loss of memory will become the principal health hazard in the next century, keeping in view the rising incidences of the disease.

Currently 50 million people in the world suffer from the disease, and the number is expected to triple by 2050.

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