Repeated head hits cause brain damage regardless of concussions

A season of football can significantly damage a player’s brain, even if they did not experience a concussion. The results bolster evidence that suggests even repeated hits to the head can cause impactful brain damage.

An Aug. 14 story in the New York Times examined results of a study published in Science Advances that utilized brain scans and helmets containing accelerometers to track the number and intensity of head impact and movement during collisions.

The researchers scanned the brains of football players from the University of Rochester before the season, then gathered the helmet data and re-scanned players’ midbrains after the season. Thirty-eight players scans were compared to 19,128 total impacts. The scans revealed the white matter in players’ midbrains was not as healthy as before the season.

“Taken together, the scans and helmet data suggest that head impacts from sports can injure brain tissue, whether they result in a concussion or not,” said co-author of the study Adnan Hirad to the Times.

Read the entire story below.