Concussions: changes to brains lasts much longer than thought / January 11, 2019

Research in Canada and the Netherlands used a new technique to show concussions change the function of the brain ( Manning et al. Western University)

Using a new technique, researchers in Canada and the Netherlands have found that changes to the brain after a concussion last much longer than thought, and long after the typical symptoms have gone. They also show that people, in this case the players, who have experienced a number of “sub-concussive” hits also show damage.

The study followed a women’s Varsity Rugby team at Ontario’s Western University for five years.  Individuals were followed for the typical two year stint they played on the team. The study showed that the women who had concussions showed “wiring” damage that lasted for the two years they were studied, and researchers think the damage may last longer. The study also revealed that compared to brains of swimmers and rowers who typically don’t get knocked about, that the brains of rugby players who hadn’t suffered a concussion, but who had experienced a number of “sub-concussive” hits, also showed damage.

Marc spoke to Ravi Menon (PhD) , a professor of medical biophysics at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and scientist at Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario and senior author of the study.