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Beyond the Impact: Why Every Hit Counts in Young Athletes' Brain Health


Recent research has taken a closer look at how playing high school football, or any contact

sport, affects the brain. Even without any official head injuries, the study found that the sport can change the way parts of the brain communicate with each other over a season.


Key Points of the Study

- Who was studied: High school football players were observed over one season, with fMRI brain scans taken before, during, and after the season.

- What was done: Researchers used fMRI brain scans to see how well different parts of the brain worked together. They also kept track of every time a player's head was hit during practice or games even if it was not classified as a concussion.


- What was found: As the season went on, the scans showed changes in how the brain's

networks talked to each other, especially after many small hits to the head. These changes peaked late into the football season and were so pronounced, researchers hardly believed the new scans were from the same players.


What Can We do about it?

Our clinic is focused on keeping brains healthy, especially for athletes. This study shows us that even without a clear injury, sports like football can affect the brain. While many believe their athletic performance gets better through the season, studies like this show their brain may be getting worse. If you are interested in limiting the effects of repeated collisions on the brain for performance and well-being, we recommend a qEEG brain map. This enables us to measure your brain’s function and look for ways to improve it whether in preseason, playoffs, or anywhere in between.


To learn more about this important research, check out the full study

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