New Study Conducted by Canadians Shows Long-Term Changes to the Brain After a Concussion, Especially in Younger Athletes - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Monday, 15 August 2016

New Study Conducted by Canadians Shows Long-Term Changes to the Brain After a Concussion, Especially in Younger Athletes

New studies have shown that there are some significant changes to the brains of athletes who have a history of concussions, and this applies even after months (or years) of their injury occurring. Researchers were able to observe a 10 to 20 percent reduction in frontal lobe volume, as well as up to 25 (to 35) percent less blood flow to specific regions of your brain (but most particularly, the frontal lobe). This particular report, which was published in the “Journal of Neurotrama” during the month of July, was conducted by researchers located at St. Michael’s Hospital (in Toronto). They made sure that they went through an abundance of male and female athletes, within a broad range of age groups.

All of these athletes took part in both high and low-contact sports, such as: rugby, football, soccer, volleyball and such. Nathan Churchill, who is the lead author of this study (as well as a post-doctorate staff member at St. Michael’s Neuroscience Research Program), this process was different when compared to the traditional concussion study. Most of them focus on male athletes, as well as testing only high-risk sport players (like hockey or football players). Through the use of “advanced magnetic resonance imaging”, researchers took a look at the brains of 43 different university-level athletes; there was a total of 21 men and 22 women taking part. Out of the 43 participants that were looked at, 21 of them had a history of previous concussion issues (the average number was two previous injuries), while 22 had never experienced any concussions whatsoever.

The study results show that the size, flow of blood and even the connections in their brains were at a higher risk of being affected, as opposed to those that has never suffered from any prior concussion problems. Churchill said that an abundance of people still think of concussions as “a short-term brain change, where you experience symptoms that last about a week and then you recover” – but that isn’t the case at all.

This study shows that athletes of all varieties should have their brains monitored throughout their careers, as even the players of “low-risk” sports are still dealing with the consequences of concussions. The frontal lobe brain shrinkage that you might experience will affect your decision-making process, as well as impulse-control and problem solving. Not only that, but less blood flow can mean longer recovery times (as well as having difficulties speaking fluently).

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