School of Education News

Stamm's research on football, brain health featured in Capital Times

November 09, 2017
The research of UW-Madison's Julie Stamm was recently featured in a Capital Times article about how head injury concerns are affecting youth sports in Madison. 

Stamm is an associate lecturer with the School of Education's Department of Kinesiology. She also is an alumna of the School of Education, having earned her undergraduate degree from the Department of Kinesiology's Athletic Training program

Julie Stamm
Stamm
As research on the long-term neurological consequences of playing football comes out, youth tackle leagues are making changes, such as new tackling strategies and protocols for handling concussions, reports the Cap Times.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head, and Stamm said there are people diagnosed with CTE who never had a diagnosed concussion. Research exists confirming a link between CTE and football, but much is unknown about risk for young players.

Stamm's research indicates playing football while young could impact cognitive health, and disrupt normal development. Stamm and colleagues at Boston University, where she was a graduate student, conducted cognitive tests on 214 former football players -- and people who played football before age 12 were more than twice as likely to have trouble with attention, memory and decision-making. 

“Really the gold standard here would be to follow kids from elementary school on, follow those who go into sports like football, those who don’t, those who quit earlier or keep going,” Stamm said in the article. "You wouldn't tell your kid to go hit their head against a wall 270 times over 14 weeks. It kind of makes sense that maybe this isn’t a good idea.”

Read the full article here: "The future of football: How concerns about head injuries are changing youth sports in Madison."

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