In literature review, I examine the current research on football-related concussions and their effects on cognitive performance. A concussion is defined as a blow to the head which results in injury to the brain. Concussions are often difficult to diagnose as they do not leave any radiological variation that can be measured via MRI. Concussions were first observed in boxing during the 1920s, but research on concussions has been slow to gain momentum until recently. As empirical research has gained prominence, both short- and long-term effects of concussions have come to light. Significant cognitive effects of concussions include depression, links to neurodegenerative diseases, memory impairment, and decreases in cerebral blood flow (Didehbani, Cullum, Mansinghani, Conover, & Hart, 2013; Guskiewicz et al., 2007; Maugans, Farley, Altaye, Leach, & Cecil, 2012). The improvements being made in sports to help fix these problems include changing rules for greater safety, improved concussion assessment techniques, and better safety equipment (Halpin, 2013; Lear & Hoang, 2012; Linendoll, 2013). The potential impacts of this concussion research on football are still largely unknown, but considering the popularity of the sport, the impacts will likely be insignificant.

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