Recent reports of early dementia and other neurological problems in professional football and hockey players have raised concerns about the long-term impact of head injuries suffered in the course of play. Are college and high school athletes also at risk? What does the latest research tell us about how sports concussions affect the brain? And what if anything can be done to make contact sports safer?
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Kevin Guskiewicz is the Kenan Distinguished Professor and Director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Over the past 17 years, he has investigated the effect of sport-related concussion on balance and neuropsychological function in high school and collegiate athletes, the biomechanics of sport concussion, and the long-term neurological effects of concussion and sub-concussive impacts in retired professional football players.
David Allen Hovda
David Allen Hovda is the Director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center. Dr. Hovda is most well known internationally for his translational work on the pathobiology of traumatic brain injury and has devoted most of his career to understanding the mechanisms of recovery of function.
Greg Miller is the San Francisco, California, news correspondent for Science. He focuses on neuroscience and other areas of biological, behavioral, and social science.