Sports medicine is consistently attempting to find new ways to accurately diagnose and cure serious head injuries. A new study used MRI exams to evaluate the blood flow in the brain after a concussion. Suprisingly, researchers discovered that even after an athlete appears to be recovered, the brain is still experiencing a decreased blood flow for up to eight days after the concussion. This study reveals that longer recovery times are necessary to allow the athlete to reach maximum recovery before returning to the field. Even though athletes may look and feel normal, the brain continues to experience unseen trauma after a serious head injury and this must be taken into account, especially for young student atheletes. If an athete returns to the field while their brain is still recovering, they are subjecting themselves to another head injury that could be worse as it occurs to an already fragile brain. More research is needed to determine how MRIs can be effectively used to protect athletes from unnecessary further head trauma.
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