Many parents struggle with the decision to let their kids play tackle football or other contact sports due to the risk of concussions and long-term brain diseases that may occur with repeated head blows.
NFL players are four times more likely to die of Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) than other people, new research finds, adding to known links between football-related head injuries and brain diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
And the longer they played football, the greater their risk, the new study found.
Right now, the devastating concussion-linked brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) can only be diagnosed after death via autopsy. But new research could help change that, allowing doctors to someday spot the illness earlier.
According to the new study, MRI may be able to detect CTE while people are still alive.
"While this finding is not yet ready for the ...
Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporters
College athletes who suffer a concussion may take as long as a month to recover, not the two weeks considered normal, new research finds.
"Normal return-to-play time was previously set at 14 days — meaning 50% of people recovered in that time," said lead researcher Steve Broglio. He is director of the University of Michigan Concussion Center in Ann Arbor. "Our paper suggests that 28 day...
Sports-related head injuries in male athletes tend to grab all of the headlines, but new research shows that female athletes are also increasingly at risk.
From 2000 to 2019, there was a threefold jump in sports-linked concussions seen among high school-aged girls. These injuries were most likely to occur during soccer, basketball, cheerleading, softball and volleyball, but they also happ...
The nutrient zinc can be both helpful and harmful when it comes to kidney stones, a new study finds.
There have been two conflicting theories about the link between zinc and kidney stones. One suggests zinc stops the growth of the calcium oxalate crystals that make up the stones. The other suggests zinc changes the crystals' surfaces, which encourages further growth.
It may be possible to treat the thinking problems that result from repeated hits to the head, a new laboratory study suggests.
The new experiments with mice are the first to offer a molecular analysis of what happens in the brain after repetitive but mild blows to the head, said researcher Mark Burns. He is head of the Laboratory for Brain Injury and Dementia at Georgetown University, in ...
Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury appear to affect the brain in similar ways, according to a study that may point to new ways to identify people at high risk for Alzheimer's.
"These findings are the first to suggest that cognitive impairment following a traumatic brain injury is useful for predicting the magnitude of Alzheimer's-like brain degradation," said study author Andr...
Here's some good news for aging athletes: If you played high school football, you're no more likely than others to have problems with concentration, memory or depression in middle age, according to a new study.
"Men who played high school football did not report worse brain health compared with those who played other contact sports, noncontact sports, or did not participate in sports dur...
After a concussion, women may be at heightened risk of lasting physical and mental symptoms, a new study finds.
The study of 2,000 concussion sufferers found that women were more likely than men to still have some symptoms one year later. The problems included fuzzy memory and difficulty concentrating, as well as headaches, dizziness or fatigue.
Researchers outfitted high school athletes with head impact sensors to see which of four popular sports put them at the greatest risk of concussion.
No. 1 for both boys and girls: Soccer, according to a study published online recently in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. Blame it on intentional headers, which accounted for 80% of head impacts in that sport.
Sustaining just one head injury may up your chances of developing dementia decades later by 25%, and this risk increases with each subsequent head injury, new research suggests.
"Head injury is not the only risk factor for dementia as high blood pressure and diabetes, among others, also contribute significantly to dementia risk, but head injury is one risk factor for dementia that is modi...
Concussions can increase the long-term risk of a wide range of sleep disorders, a new study indicates.
Researchers looked at more than 98,700 U.S. veterans diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the same number of veterans with no history of TBI. The brain injuries ranged from mild TBI (concussion) to severe.
None of the participants had sleep disorders at the start of th...
College football players suffer more concussions and head hits in practice than they do actually playing the game, a new study suggests.
Across five seasons of football, 72% of concussions and 67% of head impacts incurred by players on six National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I teams happened during practice rather than on game day, researchers found.
Driving is a high-risk behavior for teenagers under ordinary circumstances, but new research shows that many who have experienced a concussion may be returning to the road too soon.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) found that about 47% of teen drivers included in the study returned to driving within two weeks of...
States with strong football cultures have often fumbled measures to protect young players who've suffered concussions, researchers say.
They analyzed youth concussion laws introduced by states between 2007 and 2014, specifically guidelines requiring a 24-hour delay before sending a player with a possible concussion back onto the field.
The researchers found that states with college ...
Playing tackle football at an early age doesn't determine how quickly college players recover from a concussion, a new study finds.
"Because football is a very physical game and concussions can occur, it has been hypothesized that playing at an early age may interfere with neurodevelopmental growth and increase a person's vulnerability to neurological problems later in life," said re...
After a concussion, it may not be safe to drive for a while, a new, small study suggests.
"People who have concussions often have slower reaction times as a result, and do more poorly on tests of thinking skills after their injury than their peers without concussions," said researcher Julianne Schmidt, from the University of Georgia.
People with a history of concussion may face increased risks of certain psychological and neurological conditions, a large new study suggests.
The study of more than 186,000 Canadians found that those who suffered a concussion were more likely to develop any of several conditions, including: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); depression or anxiety; Parkinson's disease; o...
Young children who suffer a concussion are likely to have vision and balance problems, according to a new study.
"Since one-third of pediatric and adolescent concussion injuries occur in elementary school-age children, we set out to provide a comprehensive description of children ages 5 to 11 years who were diagnosed with a concussion to pinpoint opportunities to improve the quality ...
Less than half of patients with a sports-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) recover within two weeks, new research shows.
"This study challenges current perceptions that most people with a sports-related mTBI recover within 10 to 14 days," said lead author Dr. Stephen Kara, from Axis Sports Medicine in Auckland, New Zealand.
Padded helmets and safe tackling and blocking techniques can reduce the chance of head injuries for middle school football players, a new study finds.
Young athletes make up 70% of America's amateur and pro football players. As head injuries in older athletes have been linked to a slew of brain injuries, attention is now turning to the safety of the younger players.
On college campuses in the United States, students suffer concussions twice as often as believed, and most of those injuries occur off the playing field, new research from the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests.
"This study shows how common head injuries are among this population and that concussions are not restricted to the athletic field," said study co-author Dr. John Brec...
If you have a neurological disorder, a video chat with your doctor might be as good as an office visit for checking on your condition.
That's the conclusion of researchers who analyzed 101 studies on telemedicine use for concussion, traumatic brain injury, dementia, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, neuromuscular conditions and general neurology.
High school athletes who suffer repeated concussions may be at heightened risk for suicide, Texas researchers report.
Data on more than 13,000 high school students revealed that those who had had a concussion in the past year (15%) were more likely to have feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, and to have planned or attempted suicide.
Concussion damage may linger a full year after an athlete returns to play, Canadian researchers report.
"Brain recovery after concussion may be a more complex and longer-lasting process than we originally thought," said lead investigator Nathan Churchill, a research associate in the Neuroscience Research Program at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
The length of time that NFL players are sidelined after a concussion has tripled in the past two decades, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2012-2015 pro football seasons. They found that the players who suffered a concussion returned to play an average of 19 days later, which means they missed about 1.5 games.
Repeated exposure to head trauma during play often causes significant brain damage, researchers report. That damage then gives rise to neurological disease, which then boosts the risk for dementia by the time players reach middle-age and beyond.
Could the rugby way of tackling lower the risk of concussions in American football?
A new study claims it could, by reducing the force of head impacts.
"For athletes who participate in a sport that involves a tackle or direct contact, adapting a rugby-style tackle where the players lead with their shoulders, not their heads, could make college sports safer," said study autho...
Even a mild concussion can temporarily affect your sense of smell and trigger longer-term anxiety problems, a new study finds.
It's been known that such problems could occur after a major concussion. But this study found it's also true for minor concussions caused by accidents such as falling off a bike with a helmet on, having a traffic fender-bender, falling on the ski slopes, or sl...
College athletes with attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be slower to recover from a concussion and may have more severe symptoms.
That's the preliminary conclusion of a study of 120 U.S. college athletes who suffered concussions. Forty had ADHD; 80 did not. Of those with ADHD, half were taking stimulant medications for the disorder.