Concussion damage usually present three months after incident

Concussions are a critical health problem impacting athletes of all ages.  Now, a new study looks at how concussions suffered by youth hockey players might impact long-term brain health. 

The study examined a group of youth hockey players ages 11-14 where body-checking is first introduced.  Researchers used MRI scans and found that players who had been diagnosed with concussions had brain changes that were still present three months later. 

Players who have suffered a concussion go through a series of tests to evaluate memory, reaction time, word processing and balancing before being cleared to play.  Dr.  Richard Figler, of Cleveland Clinic, says, "Go through the testing; make sure that you are back to normal and if there’s anything that still feels off, don’t return back to play, because this study shows us that the brain is still recovering three months out and it still may have some issues  three months out.”

It's important for athletes to be honest with coaches, doctors and parents about their symptoms.

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