Popular Science

Concussions make lasting changes to the brain, even after you feel fine

We don’t know what those changes actually mean.
brain scan

Three months after concussion, the brains of adolescent hockey players still don't look normal

Deposit Photos

In Canada, many kids are on ice skates before they can walk. But they don’t get to start slamming into each other until they’re around 11, when they can sign up for full contact hockey. Unsurprisingly, that’s also the age when the baby Wayne Gretzky’s start getting their first concussions.

If they take a knock, the puck-hungry preteens are sidelined until they pass through a standard return-to-play protocol: after the , the recommended approach is for athletes to, making sure headaches and dizziness don’t return at each step of the way. Once they pass through that incremental increase without issue, doctors will clear them to return to the rink.

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