New research has found that a single season of playing football or another contact sport causes brain damage regardless of whether a player actually got a concussion or even had signs of injury, says a [s]Forbes[/s] report. Researchers fitted 45 players from a football team with helmet sensors and followed them during the 2012 playing season. The [b]Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS)[/b] recorded impacts detected by the helmet sensors and tallied a risk weighted cumulative exposure for each player. The results showed that white matter changes and abnormalities were detected that directly correlated with the number and strength of impacts registered by the helmet sensors. The researchers note that during the time period studied, none of the players suffered an actual clinical concussion or serious injury and did not necessarily show any signs that there was a problem. In other words, these changes were invisible. The report says the according to study author Alexander K Powers, MD, of [b]Wake Forest University[/b], this adds to a growing body of research showing that playing contact sports results in brain changes independent of symptoms.
[link url=http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2014/07/29/back-to-school-concussion-alert-one-season-of-contact-sports-damages-brain]Full Forbes report[/link]
[link url=http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/neu.2013.3233]Journal of Neurotrauma abstract[/link]