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Non-Concussion Head Injuries may Still Lead to Long-Term Damage

Destiny Baker3 years ago

A study published in the medical journal Neurology has found that even head blows that do not result in concussions can still lead to long term brain injuries.

About the Brain Injury Study

  • The study author Dr. Thomas W. McAllister discovered that the strength of a head blow did not always correlate to an athlete’s chances of suffering a concussion.
  • According to FOX News, Dr. McAllister and his colleagues followed two groups of athletes from pre-season to post season.
  • The first group included athletes who were involved in contact sports including football and hockey while the second group was made up of athletes who participated in non-contact sports.
  • Both groups were given cognitive test and brain scans prior to the study and the contact sport athletes were given helmets that recorded the acceleration of the head following an impact in order to calculate the intensity of the blow.
  • At the end of the season, the groups were asked to complete the same test and were given another brain scan.

Findings of the Brain Injury Study

Upon completing the study, the brain scans showed that key changes had occurred in the contact sport athletes, even when the athletes had not sustained a concussion.

What was evident, however, was that the changes seemed to correlate with the intensity of the blows experienced by the athlete.

Researchers also found that 20 percent of the contact sport athletes scored more than 1.5 standard deviations below the predicted scores on post-season tests for verbal learning and memory, compared to 11 percent among non-contact sport athletes.

The researchers believe the results of the post-season cognitive tests raise questions about how long non-concussive brain injuries last after a season ends.

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