AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 3, 2019

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Repeated Brain MRI Scans in Football Players Don't Show Increased Susceptibility to White Matter Changes at Younger Age

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans performed at the beginning and end of football season show significant changes in the brain’s white matter in both youth and high school football players, reports a study.

White matter alterations over the season are greater in high school football players, reflecting their higher volume and magnitude of head impact exposure, according to the new research by Gregory D. Myer, PhD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and colleagues. They write, “Our results did not confirm recent speculation that younger children are more susceptible to the deleterious effects of repetitive head impacts compared with their older counterparts.”

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