Regular head impacts in youth sports can lead to brain injury: study

November 30, 2011

Rochester, NY – Even sports-related head impacts that do not cause concussions can result in noticeable brain injury among youth football and hockey players, according to a preliminary study from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

As part of the study, researchers compared pre- and post-season brain scans of nine youth athletes in addition to six control youth, according to the study abstract.

During a three-month period, study participants received numerous sports-related head impacts, but only one suffered a concussion. However, researchers found that six of the study participants who did not have concussions showed brain abnormalities that more closely resembled the brain of the concussed participant than the control group’s brains, the abstract stated.

The researchers recommended further research between changes in brain abnormalities and sports-related head impacts.