Head in the Game

Why is this project important?

While many studies have investigated acute football injuries, few have evaluated long-term health consequences of a professional football career. Particularly, the potential effect of head impacts and injuries on the development of late life neurologic or mental diseases remains controversial. The Head in the Game study is an important step towards closing the current knowledge gap. Based on the results, we will be able to make recommendations to improve long-term health of current and future elite athletes.

What is the aim of the project?

We aim to evaluate and improve long-term health in elite contact sport. A particular focus of the study in the Netherlands is the effect of a professional football career on the structure and function of brain networks of former players.

How does it work?

Phase 1 – In a first step, we will survey former elite football players and control persons on their current health and injury history using an anonymous online questionnaire.

Phase 2 – In a clinical follow-up study we will investigate the association between previous injuries and long-term health in detail using different examination methods, such as neuroimaging and neuropsychological tests.

We are looking for female participants aged 30 to 50 years. All eligible participants may take part in the study – irrespective of previous injuries or current physical complaints.

We will be researching two different groups of people:
a) former elite football players
b) former elite athletes from non-contact sports

In order to make this important project a success, we need your support! If you are an eligible participant, please register via our website, where you can also find more information! We will then contact you with further information.