Researchers are using smart helmets and imaging to study brain injury risk in young football players over a season.
- by Susan Young
- The end-of-August announcement that the National Football League will pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit involving thousands of its former players over problems related to head trauma is just one sign of the growing concern that the sport’s collisions pose a serious risk to long-term player health. But little is known about how a season of head hits affects the largest group of football athletes: the nearly 4.5 million youth and high school student players.
A study by researchers in North Carolina and Virginia is addressing this gap with the most comprehensive look at the relationship between impacts and injuries in players from ages 6 to 18. By combining biomechanics, brain imaging, and neurological testing, the team could develop tools to identify when a player has been hit hard enough, or repeatedly enough, to risk a concussion or other brain injury