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Sanford Health Youth Football Study Published in National Journal

Assessments show no postseason deficits in neurologic function

Munce_Thanyne200X215(Sioux Falls, SD) - A pilot study titled “Effects of Youth Football on Select Clinical Measures of Neurologic Function: A Pilot Study” has been published in the Journal of Child Neurology.  The Sanford Research study was led by Thayne Munce, PhD, associate director of the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.

The neurologic function of 10 youth football players was assessed prior to and immediately following a 12-week season.  There were no deficits among any of the clinical measures used, including tests of balance, memory, reaction time and reading speed. In fact, some improvements were discovered in areas such as postural stability and reaction time.

Researchers at the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance started tracking youth football players in 2012 using accelerometers placed inside the helmets of players.  Those accelerometers track the number of hits, magnitude of hits and location of hits to the players’ heads during practices and games.  The overall goal is to gain a better understanding of the risk of brain injury in youth football in an effort to improve player safety.

The Journal of Child Neurology covers a wide range of neuroscience-related studies with a focus on patients through the age of 18.

About Sanford Research/USD
Sanford Research/USD is a non-profit research organization formed between Sanford Health and the University of South Dakota. Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and represents the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities, nine states and two countries. In 2007, a transformational gift of $400 million by Denny Sanford provided for an expansion of children’s and research initiatives, one of which was to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, and has given Sanford Research significant momentum in its goal of becoming one of the premiere research institutions in the United States and the world. Most recently, subsequent gifts of more than $200 million by Mr. Sanford have paved the way to establish Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research and Sanford Imagenetics.

With a team of more than 200 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including Children’s Health Research, Edith Sanford Breast Cancer, Cancer Biology, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention, Sanford Applied Biosciences, and the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance (NIAHP).

Shawn Neisteadt
Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 /