A Surprising Survey of High School Football Players and Neurocognitive Function

The survey was presented in the 2014 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons based on studying over 1200 high school football players, utilizing neuropsychological tests to look for an association with years of participation in football, age, concussion history. Mean age was 16, mean time of playing football was 4-1/2 years, and 4% had a concussion. Surprisingly, there was no significant association between years of football participation and neurocognitive function. The implication is that the playing of football is not in and of itself detrimental. Nevertheless, several recent research studies have found a link between subconcussive head blows in football and neurocognitive decline in adolescents.

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