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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 9, 2019


Soccer playing seems to increase the risk of developing ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This is the conclusion of an Italian study that reviewed the medical records of all professional soccer players in the Italian leagues between 1959 and 2000.   Players were followed for at least 16 years after their playing days ended.

The data showed that nearly twice as many soccer players as expected  developed ALS, and nearly 5 times as many younger players 45 years or less fell ill.  The average age at ALS diagnosis in the general population is just over 62 years but the average age at which soccer players developed the disease is age 40.

Since ALS development is associated with a history of head injury, soccer heading is the likely

culprit.  Parents, please listen up!  If your child is playing soccer at any age, insist that they not do any heading.  Ask their coaches to enforce a strict no-heading rule.  

Soccer is called football in Europe and for good reason.  Ball handling should be restricted to the feet.  

Your child’s brains are worth more than some grandstanding with fancy heading during a game.  With accomplished foot-play, your team’s score may actually be higher.

#Soccer #heading #head injury #ALS #amyotrophiclateralsclerosis #healthnews