You have probably already heard about the correlation between contact sports and brain injury, but perhaps you didn’t quite realize just how strong this correlation is. A study by Dr. Joseph Maldijan from UT Southwestern showed that one season of high school football alone was enough to cause physiological changes in the brain.
In the study, two small groups of high school football players were monitored over the course of a season. Their helmets were equipped with sensors which could measure the number and level of impacts to the head. Moreover all players were given preseason brain MRI scans and cognitive testing and then received the same testing postseason. This, combined with Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging (DKI), revealed physiological and functional differences in preseason and postseason results.