College football players are 5 times more likely to report cognitive impairment, 2.5 times more likely to experience recurrent headaches, and 65% more likely to have cardiovascular problems in their lifetime than their non-football playing peers. Additionally, mortality from brain and other nervous system cancers was 4 times higher in former college football players than the general population.
Researchers explore how changes in concussion research have impacted sports and player safety.
Some coronavirus patients exhibit clinical and neurochemical signs of brain injury associated with the viral infection. COVID-19 patients who required ventilation had increased plasma NfL levels. The higher NfL concentration levels were linked to the severity of infection.
Longer career length and playing specific positions put NFL players at greater risk of developing cognitive problems and mental health issues. Playing for 10 or more seasons increased the risks for depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment twice as much than those who played for a single season. For every five seasons of play, the risks increase 20% for cognitive impairment. Those most at risk are running backs, linebackers and those who played special teams positions.
Former NFL players who received a concussion while playing are more likely to report low testosterone and erectile dysfunction. Researchers speculate the reason could be damage to the pituitary gland caused by concussion may spark a cascade of hormonal changes.
Sustained hits following one season of playing football are enough to cause structural alterations to the brain. When players sustain a concussion, structural brain integrity decreases, and levels of tau increase. Researchers say, while concussions are a prime concern for those who play football, sustained hits also pose a threat to neurological health.
PET imaging of former NFL players who exhibited cognitive decline and psychiatric symptoms linked to CTE showed higher levels of tau in areas of the brain associated with the neurodegenerative disease.
Researchers say a single season of playing high school football is all it takes to cause microscopic alterations to the structure of the brain.
Researchers find evidence of cognitive issues and miRNA biomarkers, indicating brain injuries from concussions or head-to-head contact, in college football players. The findings indicated lasting damage caused by sports related concussions occur earlier than expected.
A new study, which involved a small sample of former professional athletes, found no evidence of early onset dementia.
A new study reports NFL teams perform better during night time games, thanks to a circadian advantage. Winning teams who play late evening games have fewer turnovers and players had better circadian regulated awareness than those who play in afternoon games, researchers report.
A new study of football players who were diagnosed with CTE reveals those who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 had earlier onset of emotional and cognitive problems.