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Detroit’s Center for Neurological Studies Researching Concussions in Football

CNS - Center for Neurological Studies > CNS Press Releases > Detroit’s Center for Neurological Studies Researching Concussions in Football

March is National Brain Injury Awareness month

Detroit, Michigan, March 1, 2021 – Although football takes a back seat to baseball in the Spring, one topic continues to draw attention to the gridiron: concussions on the football field. This attention seems especially timely as the State of Michigan, and the rest of the country, observes “Brain Injury Awareness” month in March.

researching concussions in football

An article in the February issue of JAMA Neurology (Journal of the American Medical Association) reported the results of a comprehensive research study that showed that 72 percent of concussions in college football occur during practice, mostly during pre-season practice. The five-season study suggests limiting full contact practices in colleges, as the NFL has recently done, and urges college conferences to strengthen their rules regarding full contact practices.

In 2016 the Ivy League banned full contact hits during all regular season practices but other leagues have yet to follow.  Professional teams are limited to 14 padded practices during the regular season.

“Concussions in games are inevitable, but concussions in practice are preventable,” said an editorial in the Journal.  “Practices are controlled situations where coaches have almost complete authority over the head injury risks taken by players.”

“The situation is improving but head injuries in football continue to be a sad fact of the game,” says Dr. Randall Benson, Medical Director at the Center for Neurological Studies (CNS) in Detroit which has developed leading edge technology for brain injury analysis and treatment. “In brain injury diagnosis there’s no such thing as one size fits all,” he says. “At CNS we’re using our uniquely sensitive and industry leading MRI capabilities to pinpoint and evaluate football injuries so that we can provide precise treatment plans that will minimize the long-term impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries and give players a better quality of life.”

Benson added that CNS is conducting an in-depth study of former professional football players to better understand the association between brain trauma and dementia in football players and what factors — player position, genetics, comorbidities could trigger the dementia. “The sophisticated technology in our MRIs and our extensive experience in brain injury research give us hope,” Benson said. “We know we’re advancing the ball.”


Center for Neurological Studies, a not for profit organization, was founded by John Russell, its CEO, in 2011 with the objective of advancing scientific research for neurovascular disease and Traumatic Brain Injuries and improving the lives of people with neurological disorders.

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