Mar 5, 2024
Preliminary findings from college sports concussions study revealed

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s O’Donnell Brain Institute began studying how college sports resulting sports-related concussions impact brain wellness later in life back in 2022.

The preliminary findings from that two-year study from phase one are now available to the public.

concussionsA recent story from KERA News sat down with one of the principal investigators, Dr. C Munro Cullum, professor of psychiatry, neurology and neurological surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, to discuss the study’s preliminary findings.

Below is an excerpt from the KERA News interview.

The goal for this study was 500 participants over 50. Which I understand you far surpassed. Now did that level of willingness surprise you?

There are a lot of people very, or becoming more, concerned about brain wellness in general, right, with health and, you know, doing things that are good for the heart and exercise and whatnot.

But also, it does reflect upon the concerns, I think, that people have after a concussion. And there’s a lot of concerns about, you know, what might the implications be if your child has a concussion? What are the implications decades later or for our aging population? Looking back. Did those concussions I had years ago, might those be affecting me?

And that’s what your study is trying to find out, right?

Yes. we’re looking at both athletes and non-athletes at this point, who are over age 50 and who did or did not have a prior history of concussions.

So one of the areas that are really understudied is aging female athletes with and without a history of concussion related to sport. We just don’t know as much about the female aging brain with respect to concussion, and what factors contribute to, quality of life, mental health, and cognitive status later in life.

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Preliminary findings from the first phase found about a quarter of former female athletes had some level of concern about later-in-life cognitive issues.

It was about what we expected, I would say, based on, some other surveys, although we really didn’t know whether the concern would be higher or lower in women because of the reports of CTE being vastly represented by males, dominated by male brain collections with very few females, to date. So I guess it was a little surprising that a fourth expressed that concern.

To read the full interview with Dr. C Munro Cullum, click here.

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