Brain differences in athletes: contact vs. noncontact sports

Brain differences in athletes: contact vs. noncontact sports


A study from researchers at Indiana University has found differences in the brains of athletes who participate in contact sports compared to those who participate in noncontact sports.

While more research is needed, senior author Nicholas Port said the findings contribute important information to research on subconcussive blows — or “microconcussions” — that are common in sports such as football, soccer, ice hockey, snowboarding and skiing. Interest in subconcussions has grown significantly in recent years as the long- and short-term risks of concussions — or mild traumatic brain injury — have become more widely known and understood.

“The verdict is still out on the seriousness of subconcussions, but we’ve got to learn more since we’re seeing a real difference between people who participate in sports with higher risk for these impacts,” said Port, an associate professor in the IU School of Optometry. “It’s imperative to learn whether these impacts have an actual effect on cognitive function — as well as how much exposure is too much.”

Source: Study finds brain differences in athletes playing contact vs. noncontact sports


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