Tue, Dec 6, 2016 | updated 06:22 AM IST

Beware! Playing football at college-level may affect brain

Updated: Dec 01, 2016 14:31 IST

Washington DC [US], Dec. 1 (ANI): Beware! If you play football at

college-level, then you may be vulnerable to the effects of head

trauma as even after years of graduation, football players continue to

show evidence of neuropathic brain changes, says a study.

The findings have been published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

Researchers from University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine in

the New York conducted the study in which MRI scans of 11 former

collegiate football players showed the evidence of significantly lower

cortical thickness within portions of both the frontal and temporal

cortex of the brain, versus a similar group of track-and-field

athletes.

In many areas of the brain, decreased cortical thickness correlated

with the number of reported concussions and was not confined to

professional players only.

Over 60,000 students play intercollegiate football, and according to

NCAA statistics, the sport accounts for more injuries than any other

at the collegiate level.

"We found evidence of persistent cortical thinning in some former

collegiate football players several years after the end of their

active playing career," said co-principal investigator of the study,

Cal Adler.

"The former football players on an average showed lower cortical

thickness across prefrontal and temporal brain regions--areas of the

brain involved in sustained attention, memory and executive

abilities--cognitive domains critical to long-term professional and

social function," Adler added.

The study further suggested that at least some consequences of

high-level collegiate football play may persist years after an athlete

has hung up the uniform.

"In this study, we saw evidence of correlations between the number of

reported concussions and the extent of persistent thinning throughout

the prefrontal and temporal cortex in the scans of these former

college players," Adler explained. (ANI)