Professional rugby can affect brain structure, according to study – 07/22/2021

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LONDON, July 22, 2021 (AFP) – Practicing professional rugby can cause changes to the structure of the brain, according to a study by Imperial College and published Thursday (22) in the United Kingdom.

Between July 2017 and September 2019, 44 players were followed, 21 of whom sustained a minor brain injury during the match.

41 men and three women all had an MRI and about half had a second scan a year later.

The tests were compared with athletes in non-contact methods and with people outside of sports.

The results showed that 23% of the players—whether they were hit to the head or not—had abnormalities of the axons (extension of neurons), causing microscopic bleeding. Added to these abnormalities in the brain’s white matter, which allows neural connections, are also “abnormal changes” in the volume of this substance.

“What is not clear at this point is the long-term clinical impact of these changes,” said the study’s lead author, David. “More research is needed to understand the long-term consequences of recurrent head injuries over the course of the rugby career.” Sharp.


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