Playing contact sports such as soccer, basketball and field hockey may lead to greater effects on the brain of athletes, researchers say.
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According to Research:
- Researchers performed pre-season brain scans of athletes.
- And found that the athletes in collision and contact sports had differences in brain structure, function.
- In addition, chemical markers typically associated with brain injury, compared to athletes in non-contact sports.
- The study found differences in the structure of the brain’s white matter.
- Furthermore, the fibre tracts that connect different parts of the brain and allow them to communicate with one another.
- Athletes in sports with higher levels of contact also showed signs of reduced communication between brain areas and decreased activity.
- In addition,particularly within areas involved in vision and motor function.
- Compared to those in non-contact sports such as volleyball, the researchers said.
What experts say?
- This study fills an important gap in understanding how contact affects healthy brains.
- As a step towards better understanding why a small number of athletes in contact sports show negative long-term health consequences.
- Most of the research in this area has focussed on the long-term effects for athletes in collision sports.
- Such as football and ice hockey, where players may be exposed to hundreds of impacts in a single season.
- Less is known about the consequences of participating in contact sports where body-to-body contact is permitted.
- But is not purposeful such as soccer, basketball and field hockey, the researchers added.