Head blows without concussion result in brain function changes

The NPR “Shots” blog reported that according to a study to be published in the Journal of Biomechanics, “high school football players have changes in their brain function long before they have recognizable signs of a concussion.”

Investigators studied a team of high school football players, using “special helmets with sensors that measured the number and severity of head impacts. The researchers also put the players in an MRI scanner to measure their brain activity while the students took a test of thinking and memory.”

During the study, “six players had concussions, but 17 others showed brain changes even though they didn’t have concussions.” In addition, “the changes in brain function that showed up in the MRIs correlated to the number and distribution of hits.”

The researchers “calculated that players received 200 to almost 1,900 head blows each season,” WebMD reported.

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