We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement

Difference Found in Brain Area Linked to Memory Among College Football Players


Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Difference Found in Brain Area Linked to Memory Among College Football Players"

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Read time:
 

Preliminary research finds that within a group of collegiate football players, those who experienced a concussion or had been playing for more years had smaller hippocampal volume (an area of the brain important for memory) than those with fewer years of football experience, according to a study in the May 14 issue of JAMA. In addition, more years of playing football was correlated with slower reaction time.


The hippocampus is a brain region involved in regulating multiple cognitive and emotional processes affected by concussion and is particularly sensitive to moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Emerging evidence suggests that the hippocampus is also vulnerable to mild TBI, as indicated by volume reduction and postconcussion abnormalities of hippocampal function. There are limited data on the long-term anatomical and cognitive consequences of concussion and subconcussive impacts on young athletes, according to background information in the article.


Rashmi Singh, Ph.D., of the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, and colleagues investigated the relationship between years of football playing experience and history of concussion with cognitive performance and hippocampal volume in collegiate football players. The study included 25 players with a history of clinician-diagnosed concussion, collegiate football players without a history of concussion (n = 25), and non-football-playing, healthy controls (n = 25). High-resolution anatomical magnetic resonance imaging was used to quantify brain volumes. Scores on a computerized concussion-related cognitive test were used to assess the athletes.


The researchers found smaller hippocampal volumes in collegiate football athletes compared with healthy control participants. Players with a history of concussion had smaller hippocampal volumes than players without concussion. Number of years of football-playing experience was inversely associated with both hippocampal volume and reaction time.


“The present study design limits our ability to dissociate [regard as unconnected] among the many possible factors involved in these hippocampal volume findings, but our study should serve as an impetus for future longitudinal research to investigate the neuroanatomical and cognitive changes in young contact-sport athletes. The clinical significance of the observed hippocampal size differences is unknown at this time,” the authors conclude.


Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

The JAMA Network Journals   press release


Publication

Rashmi Singh, Timothy B. Meier, Rayus Kuplicki, Jonathan Savitz, Ikuko Mukai, LaMont Cavanagh, Thomas Allen, T. Kent Teague, Christopher Nerio, David Polanski, Patrick S. F. Bellgowan. Relationship of Collegiate Football Experience and Concussion With Hippocampal Volume and Cognitive Outcomes.   JAMA, Published May 143 2014. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.3313


Advertisement