17 April 2012
The number of catastrophic brain injuries being suffered as a result of playing full-contact American football is on the rise, new research has indicated.
Researchers based at the University of North Carolina have recorded an increase in cases across all forms of the sport, especially matches involving high school students.
According to statistics provided by the institute, cases of football-related brain injuries causing permanent disability in high school had remained in the single digits every year since 1984.
This changed in 2008 and 2009 though, when ten injuries were recorded throughout each respective year, while 13 cases were reported during 2011.
Lead author Fred Mueller, director of the centre and professor emeritus of exercise and sports science in the College of Arts and Sciences, believes the study represents "a major problem".
"These 2011 numbers are the highest since we began collecting catastrophic brain injury data," he added.
This week has also seen renewed calls for cardiac medical tests to be administered more frequently in sport, following the death of Italian footballer Piermario Morosin on the pitch last weekend.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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