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
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,
"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