Linking Football Injuries, Brain Damage (Los Angeles Times)


A new study completed while lead author Thomas McAllister was at Dartmouth indicates that even if athletes escape without concussions during the playing season, they may have permanent damage from a number of small-impact hits to the head, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The study focused on 159 Dartmouth students who played on varsity teams between 2007 and 2011, the Times notes. Except for football, all the sports were played by both women and men.

“Following a season of grueling practices and hard-fought games, football and ice hockey players who had no outward sign of head trauma showed worrisome changes in brain structure and cognitive performance that weren’t shared by athletes who competed in varsity sports such as track, crew, and cross-country skiing,” writes the Times, quoting the report, which was published this week in the journal Neurology.

“The management and detection of concussion is obviously important,” McAllister, who was the Millennium Professor of Psychiatry and director of Neuropsychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine and is now a professor of psychiatry at Indiana University, says. “But may not be sufficient.”

Read the full story, published 12/11/13 by the Los Angeles Times.

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