Study Finds Brain Injuries, Without Concussions, in Football Players

Study Finds Brain Injuries, Without Concussions, in Football Players

March 14, 2013

A recent study published in PLOS ONE shows that, even when college football players do not suffer concussions, brain injuries can still lead to cognitive issues. The study analyzed players who volunteered from three college football teams. To test the potential for blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD), or increased permeability of the brain vasculature, the researchers used blood tests before and after games and analyzed them according to the number of head hits the players incurred during the games. They also performed cognitive and functional assessments. Diffusion tensor imaging scans were done on some players to test for disruption in brain tissue. None of the players experienced a concussion. The disruption occurred even when an injury was below the threshold for a diagnosis of concussion. BBBD has been linked to a variety of neurological disorders including seizures, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.

Study Finds Brain Injuries, Without Concussions, in Football Players
Quick Takes
Inside Higher Ed
March 7, 2013

Consequences of Repeated Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption in Football Players
Nicola Marchi et al.
PLOS ONE
March 2013

Sports Injury