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Loss of brain mass linked to concussion

People in Arizona who have sustained severe concussions may be at risk for long-term cognitive impairment, according to a recent study. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas studied a group of retired NFL players with a history of concussion and found that they had decreased volume in the hippocampus area of their brains.

This part of the brain is associated with memory storage, and decreased hippocampus volume may impair a person's memory performance. UTSMC researchers found that a history of grade 3 concussions could result in a person losing hippocampal volume and showing poor memory performance even if the brain injuries were in the remote past. A grade 3 concussion is one that causes a person to lose consciousness.

The study included 55 participants, 28 of which were professional football players who had retired from the NFL. Researchers also analyzed a group of 21 adults with no history of concussion or cognitive impairment as well as a group of six adults who had never sustained a concussion but had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Researchers found that the retired athletes with a history of G3 concussion had smaller hippocampal volumes compared to study participants with no such histories.

Many scientific studies have shown that a brain injury can have a lasting impact on a person's cognitive abilities. Those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury through a concussion may be less able to perform normal daily tasks, including their prior job duties. If the concussion was the result of another party's negligent actions, the victim may be able to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury claim.

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