Football and the Brain


Story Updated: Apr 10, 2014

Despite the risk for head injury football is a longstanding staple of high school athletics.

But new research cautions that kids who play only a single season of this contact sport may experience brain changes that could signal mild traumatic brain injury.

Speaking at a meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons the study authors discussed the results of a brain investigation, involving a team of 45 high school football players. Throughout their 2012 season, all players were outfitted with special helmet sensors that kept track of head impacts. Players also underwent brain scans both before and after their season. In the end, the players emerged concussion-free but not home-free. A data analysis revealed that head impacts throughout the year had, in fact, produced significant abnormalities in the white matter tissue of the students' brains. This type of brain change has previously been associated with mild traumatic brain injury.

Which raises concerns that even in the absence of concussions contact sports could still place student athletes' brains in harm's way.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news for you and your family.

Add a comment


Comment: 250 Characters Left

WISE INC TV NOW - and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.