Heading A Football Can Affect Brain Function And Memory

Posted: Oct 24 2016, 7:35am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 24 2016, 7:37am CDT, in Latest Science News


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Heading a Football can Affect Brain Function and Memory
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  • Head Traumas cause Brain Transformations in Youth who play Football

It has been found that head traumas cause brain transformations in youth who play football.

The experts studied quantifiable brain changes in youth who played football. They clearly saw that the head butts they were often forced to engage in had wrought changes in the structures of their brains.

This effect appeared merely within a single season after playing football. Even if they apparently never suffered from a concussion or two, they nevertheless showed signs of changes in their brain tissue. This was for obvious reasons not a good sign.

There happen to be over 3 million youth members who are athletes in their own right and they practice tackle football across the United States. The risks of brain injury are said to exist and recent reports say that such is indeed the case.

The deleterious effects of playing such full-contact sports on the brain tissue of youth is a topic which is just being explored at present. The past journal articles showed what effects concussions had on brain tissue. Yet now we are getting a pretty good idea of the bigger picture.

While concussions are definitely bad for the brain, the hundreds of times the heads of youth take shocks during the playoffs taking place throughout the year do not have any less of an impact on health.

Since these small-time injuries cannot be diagnosed with exact precision (as apparently concusions can be) they are left out of the picture.

What effect repeated blows from hitting a football with your head had on the brain remained somewhat of a mystery. That is until now when the whole Pandora’s Box was opened.

MR images of left inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (top) before and (middle) after the playing season, and (bottom) the overlay. In the overlay (bottom), the red region is after the season and the blue region is before the season. Credit: Radiological Society of North America

The research that was carried out involved 25 male youth members. They ranged from 8 to 13 years of age. Head injuries were calculated using the HITs or Head Impact Telemetry System. It has been already used in several other studies.

The data crunching that took place yielded some solid and definite proofs that went on to give conclusive results. Pre-seasonal and post-seasonal evaluation took place.

Neuroimaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) took place too. DTI is basically an advanced form of MRI. In a nutshell, it was found that the more the head impacts the youth suffered from, the more their brains underwent changes.

While none of the players were even close to having concussions, nevertheless they did have changes in their brains which was not a good sign at all.

Findings of this new study published online in the journal Radiology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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