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Brain changes after concussion are noticeable for years

People who participate in college sports in Pennsylvania may sustain concussion injuries at some point. Until recently, mild sport concussions were believed to be short-term injuries that did not have a lasting effect on the brain. However, research has shown that athletes with a history of concussions suffer from noticeable brain abnormalities years after being injured.

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto studied 43 student athletes by conducting an MRI analysis of the students' brains. Roughly half of them had a history of concussion while the others did not. Researchers found significant changes in the brains of the students with a history of concussion and no changes in the other participants' brains. Some of the changes included changes in blood flow, size and connections.

One of the most notable brain changes that researchers saw in the concussion-affected students was a 10 to 20 percent decrease in frontal lobe brain volume. The frontal lobe is the area of the brain that controls speech, problem solving and decision-making. Researchers also found that the concussion-affected students had less blood flow to their frontal lobe areas. Some brain shrinkage was observed, but it was not as severe as the brain shrinkage that is found in Alzheimer's patients.

The brain changes that people experience after suffering a concussion can have a significant impact on their lives for many years. When the brain injury has been caused by the negligence or recklessness of others, such as an impaired or distracted motorist, an attorney could assist the victim in seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

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