Brain Trauma Found Widespread Among High School Football and Girl Soccer Players
Seven years of head trauma research from Purdue University has found a higher level of risk for high school football and girl soccer players than previously thought.
According to Larry Leverenz, a Clinical Professor of Health and Kinesiology at Purdue, “We are seeing changes in brain activity even without a diagnosed concussion, even without any signs or symptoms showing up, and that occurs in a large population of our subjects.”
The researchers focused on pre-concussive head injuries, which up until now have been largely unaccounted for because don't cause obvious symptoms, such as disorientation or dizziness.
More than half of the players participating in trials exhibited signs of altered brain function and dramatic transformations to the wiring and biochemistry of their brains.
Additionally, researchers placed sensors on the athletes to record forces of impact and matched that data with brain scans and cognitive tests to track neurological function.
They found that non-concussive hits to the head, once thought to be less dangerous, may actually be more dangerous because they tend to go unnoticed, occur more frequently and cause potentially long lasting neurological damage.
The researchers are now working on creating equipment that better protects the head from high force impact.