A study presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) reveals that measurable brain changes previously associated with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are evident after one year of contact sports. The study, which aimed to determine the cumulative effects of head impacts as they relate to changes in the brain absent of concussion, concluded that a single season of football can produce MRI measurable brain changes.

The study looked at 45 players, none of whom experienced a clinical concussion, from a local high school football team during the 2012 season. Players were instrumented with the Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS), and each player received a pre- and post-season MRI scan. Total impacts and risk weighted cumulative exposure (RWE) were computed from the helmet sensor for each player.

According to an AANS news release, the findings show that one season of football play can produce these measurable brain changes add to the increasing amounts of literature which demonstrate that season of participation in a contact sport can show changes in the brain in the absence of concussion or clinical findings.

Source: American Association of Neurological Surgeons