Here a new research finding from Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A study by researchers at Purdue University suggests that some high school football players suffer undiagnosed changes in brain function and continue playing even though they are impaired.
"Our key finding is a previously undiscovered category of cognitive impairment," said Thomas Talavage, an expert in functional neuroimaging who is an associate professor of biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the Purdue MRI Facility.
The findings represent a dilemma because they suggest athletes may suffer a form of injury that is difficult to diagnose.
The research team identified 11 players who either were diagnosed by a physician as having a concussion, received an unusually high number of impacts to the head or received an unusually hard impact. Of those 11 players, three were diagnosed with concussions during the course of the season, four showed no changes and four showed changes in brain function.
"So half of the players who appeared to be uninjured still showed changes in brain function," Leverenz said. "These four players showed significant brain deficits. Technically, we aren't calling the impairment concussions because that term implies very specific clinical symptoms, such as losing consciousness or having trouble walking and speaking. At the same time, our data clearly indicate significant impairment."