Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Football Players Have Smaller Brain Area Compared with Non-Players

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Football Players Have Smaller Brain Area Compared with Non-Players

Article excerpt

A college football player who has had a concussion is more likely to have a smaller hippocampus in the brain than someone who does not have a concussion. The hippocampus is the area responsible for memories. A new study indicates that even if a player has not had a concussion, their hippocampus is smaller than that in a man of the same age with no history of brain trauma.

Studies of sports-related injuries have focused largely on the hippocampus because there are some memory deficits that are linked to severe head injuries, but most of that research has been based on middle-aged and older men.

The investigators measured the hippocampus size of 50 Division I college football players and 25 other male volunteers, all around the same age, who did not play soccer or football. Through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, they found that 25 players with previous concussions had a hippocampus that averaged 75 percent the size of those men who had not had any previous trauma. …

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