Steve Broglio, PhD is the lead author on a new research study that shows evidence of the cumulative effects of concussions. It may not be a “gross” outwardly as some are envisioning, rather the study does indicate that multiple traumas to the brain – be it subconcussive or concussive – will produce a decline in brain function.
Broglio and his group looked at 162 “control” subjects and 62 subjects that had a history of concussion; as stated above the results were actually subtle in nature, none the less they were only noted in the group with previous head injury. Using balance and walking assessments along with brain electricity studies this research is the foundation for the “hit count” proposals. Is there a threshold for “aging” of the brain? It is number of exposures or the relative level of exposure that will be the catalyst?
Here is the full abstract;
Concussion has been viewed historically as a transient injury with no evidence supporting the existence of persistent effects. However, our recent work demonstrates electroencephalographic and motor control changes in otherwise healthy individuals with a history of concussion. We therefore hypothesize that concussive and subconcussive head impacts set about a cascade of pathological events that accelerates declines in cognitive function typically associated with the aging process.
I will be interested to see comments about this study, I have put in a request to talk to Broglio as well.