Sanford Health youth football study published in national journal

SIOUX FALLS – A pilot study titled “Effects of Youth Football on Select Clinical Measures of Neurologic Function: A Pilot Study” has been published in the Journal of Child Neurology. The Sanford Research study was led by Thayne Munce, Ph.D., associate director of the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.

The neurologic function of 10 youth football players was assessed prior to and immediately following a 12-week season. There were no deficits among any of the clinical measures used, including tests of balance, memory, reaction time and reading speed. In fact, some improvements were discovered in areas such as postural stability and reaction time.

Researchers at the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance started tracking youth football players in 2012 using accelerometers placed inside the helmets of players. Those accelerometers track the number of hits, magnitude of hits and location of hits to the players’ heads during practices and games. The overall goal is to gain a better understanding of the risk of brain injury in youth football in an effort to improve player safety.

The Journal of Child Neurology covers a wide range of neuroscience-related studies with a focus on patients through the age of 18.

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