According to a recent report in the New York Times, the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy can potentially be linked to the soccer field. These new findings bolster the conviction held by many scientists that the disease is not limited merely to “violent” sports such as boxing and football.

The disease may be spurred by the fact that many soccer players “head” the ball, or redirecting the ball with one’s head; a soccer ball can be moving at tremendous speeds when a player heads it, and players may head a ball many times during a single game. A study was conducted posthumously on a soccer player who passed away from the brain disease, and the damage to his brain was found in the part of his head that would normally have come into contact with the ball.

The death of the soccer player was tragic and dismaying, and it is vital that our brain injury scientists identify any causal factors related to the contraction of any kind of brain disease caused by traumatic brain injuries or concussions. As a personal injury attorney who specializes in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), I know how serious and prevalent is the problem of serious brain injury—and I know how crucial it is that researchers work hard to identify causes and cures related to these devastating diseases.