'How Many Hits is Too Many' is focus of lecture Wednesday

By Sean Greene 12:18am, October 10, 2012 - Updated 8:31am, October 10, 2012
Dr. Talavage will be at Delaware State Wednesday (PHOTO: Purdue)
In an era where concussion awareness is on the rise, one professor has done research focusing on the quantity, rather than quality of hits, and how they effect the brain.

Dr. Tom Talavage, Purdue University's director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility, will be giving a guest lecture at Delaware State University's Martin Luther King Center Wednesday at 7:30pm.

Talavage has been studying both the short and long-term effects of playing football on the brains of high school football players in a study called, "How Many Hits is Too Many?" that was released last June.

While major hits can clearly impact a brain in traumatic ways, even light hits, like blocking on the offensive line, or a running back being routinely tackled, can add up quickly.

"Once you've had at least 800 hits over the course of the season, we are able to show that something has changed either metabolically, functionally, or neuro-cognitively in over 93-percent of our players," Talavage says.

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The goal of the study is to help work on developing products and strategies to decrease risks of short-term (concussion) and long-term (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) among athletes.

Talavage noted that one athlete in his study had a scary episode after being diagnosed with a brain injury.

"The football player ended up having basically an undetectable brain bleed from his initial probable concussion. He was actually checked out fine at a CT and by his doctor and went back to practice that afternoon. He ended up suffering what they call 'second impact syndrome,' but it actually happened while he was just running," says Talavage.

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A reception and refreshments will precede Talavage's lecture at 7pm.

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