Study linked head trauma with brain damage

December 4, 2012

Topic: common football injury

A new article from the Concussion Legacy Foundation is one of the first reports to investigate the relationship between playing fields and concussions.

Concussions are a common football injury, and it's no secret that individuals who endure such head trauma may experience brain damage. This fact was recently reconfirmed by a study published in the journal Brain.

Researchers from Boston University looked at the impact of repeated blows to head, like those endured while playing football, and it's correlation with long-term brain damage. They examined the brains of 85 football players, boxers and military veterans. The study's investigators discovered that 80 percent of the subjects were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a progressive degenerative brain disorder associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgement, impulse control problems and dementia.

"Sixty-eight cases more than doubles all the other cases in the world's literature to date," said study coauthor Robert Cantu, M.D. "So the sheer volume of it should put to rest any doubt about the entity."

Every year, approximately 1.7 million individuals in the U.S. experience a traumatic brain injury (TBIs), 75 percent of which are concussions or other mild TBIs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids in particular are often subject to TBIs at a young age, as nearly half a million visits to the emergency room annually are because of this kind of accident in children aged 0 to 14 years.

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