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Study finds youth football players have significant differences in head impact exposure

June 07, 2017

New Rochelle, NY, June 7, 2017--A study of 97 youth football players ages 9-13 years who participated in different age- and weight- based levels over four seasons of play found that that youngsters experienced a total of 40,538 head impacts. Measures of linear head acceleration and the number of impacts per player in competition versus practice sessions differed significantly depending on the youngsters' age/weight level, as reported in the study published in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website until July 7, 2017.

Joel Stitzel, PhD, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC and coauthors from Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX present their findings in the article entitled "Head Impact Exposure in Youth Football: Comparing Age and Weight Based Levels of Play." The researchers emphasize that the significant increases seen in the magnitudes of head impact from one level to the next suggest that all youth athletes should not be evaluated as one group when assessing head impact exposure and injury risk. The data obtained from this type of study can be useful for designing evidence-based interventions.

"As controversy rages in relation to the damaging consequences of youth football, this study is particularly timely. It forces us to recalibrate our understanding of youth head impact exposure not only in practice and game day settings but also in the context of the athlete's age," says John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.
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Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the under Award Numbers R01NS094410 and R01NS082453 and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences under Award Number KL2TR001421. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Journal of Neurotrauma is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published 24 times per year in print and online that focuses on the latest advances in the clinical and laboratory investigation of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Emphasis is on the basic pathobiology of injury to the nervous system, and the papers and reviews evaluate preclinical and clinical trials targeted at improving the early management and long-term care and recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma is the official journal of the National Neurotrauma Society and the International Neurotrauma Society. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Neurotrauma website.

About the Publisher


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, Brain Connectivity, and Tissue Engineering. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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