Teen Football: Undiagnosed Brain Changes

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Oct. 11 (UPI) — Teen football players may suffer from undiagnosed brain function changes, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., find 11 of the 21 high-school football players they studied using helmet sensors, brain scans and cognition tests had had brain injuries but only three had been diagnosed with concussions.

The study, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, suggests some football players may be suffering “non-concussion” head injuries but keep getting hit because they are not showing the usual clinical signs or symptoms indicating a need to pull these players out of practice or game.

“Our key finding is a previously undiscovered category of cognitive impairment,” Thomas Talavage says in a statement.

Talavage and colleagues screened and monitored players with impact data gathered by having them were helmets with sensors that relay data wirelessly to equipment on the sidelines during each play. The researchers say they looked at brain-imaging scans and cognition tests both before and after the football season.

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