The NFL made headlines recently with $35 million in research funding to study the effects of concussions and repeated head trauma on football players. The past two years have brought intense public attention to professional football players suffering permanent, degenerative brain damage.
And it raises unsettling questions about the safety of youth football.
A new study from U.C. Berkeley adds to a small but growing body of research suggesting that just one season of youth football can cause changes in young players’ brains. But are those changes permanent? And what do they mean?
“What is consistent is that we are seeing changes in the brain in our young football players,” said Christopher Whitlow, associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Wake Forest University.
He acknowledges that the study raises more questions than it answers.
"Do these changes resolve after the season? Do they persist?”
Whitlow is seeking additional funding to get the answers.