Repeated Head Impacts (RHI)

There is growing concern in the sports medicine community around the effects of smaller, repeated head impacts, also known as RHI. Research has shown that these hits may cause serious, long-term effects to the brain.


Check out the articles and studies below to learn more about RHI.

Repeated Head Impacts in Hockey Found to Impair Brain

Apr 27, 2021

“The results showed sensitivity to impairments in players who did not have an official concussion diagnosis. That is, players who had low-magnitude impacts may not have noticed them and they may not have been noticed by coaches or other observers. These caused what the scientists called subconcussive changes and they were found to be significantly correlated with the number of head impacts over the season across both age groups.”

Click here to see the full story on Radio Canada International.


Sledding Athletes Are Taking Their Lives. Did Brain-Rattling Rides and High-Speed Crashes Damage Their Brains?

July 26, 2020

“In recent years, an increasing number of athletes, current and retired, in sliding sports, especially bobsled and skeleton, have said they battle chronic headaches, a heightened sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises, forgetfulness and psychological problems.”

Click here to see the full story from the New York Times.

Repeated Head Impacts Associated With Later-Life Depression Symptoms, Worse Cognitive Function

June 26, 2020

“Scientists have long believed that a single traumatic brain injury (TBI) earlier in life may contribute to problems with memory, thinking and depression later in life. In most previous studies, however, research failed to examine the possible role of having a history of exposure to repetitive head impacts, including those leading to “subconcussive” injuries, in these later-life problems. In the largest study of its kind, an association has been found in living patients exposed to repetitive head impacts and difficulties with cognitive functioning and depression years or decades later.”

Click here to see the full story on Science Daily.

Even Without Concussion, Athletes’ Brains Can Change After Head Jolts

June 17, 2020

“Even with no concussions, the repetitive impacts experienced by the rugby players clearly had effects on the brain. More research is needed to understand what these changes may mean and to what extent they reflect how the brain compensates for the injuries, repairs itself or degenerates so we can better understand the long-term health effects of playing a contact sport.”

Click here to see the full story from U.S. News. 

Repetitive Head Impacts Increases the Hazard of Death Among NFL Players

May 11, 2020

“In this cohort study of 13912 National Football League players, a 25% increase in reptitive head impacts during a professional football career was associated with a statistically significant increase in the hazard ratio of death.”

Click here to see the full study on JAMA.

This Helmet Will Save Football. Actually, Probably Not

Dec 12, 2019

“The danger isn’t limited to the largest and fastest people. In fact, smaller repeated hits — as opposed to spectacular collisions — are the real danger. Researchers at Boston University and Carnegie Mellon and elsewhere focus on C.T.E. as the greatest threat and insist the culprit is not the concussion — as terrible as that injury can be. Rather, it’s thousands of cumulative hits over many years. So yes, taking a freight train hit from a pro linebacker is dangerous — but being repeatedly whacked and knocked to the ground thousands of times by players in Pop Warner, middle school and high school puts you at more risk for C.T.E.”

Click here to see the full story from the New York Times.

A Lineman Became A Doctor, But Dementia Made Him Retire. He’s Only 42.

Oct 28, 2019

“Football’s threat to the brain now is less about concussions, those most catastrophic of head collisions, than repeated hits, the sheer repetitive smacking around of the brain inside the skull.”

Click here to see the full story from the New York Times.

Repeated Head Hits, Not Just Concussions, May Lead To A Type Of Brain Damage

July 18, 2018

“A study published online Thursday in Brain, a journal of neurology, presents the strongest case yet that repetitive hits to the head that don’t lead to concussions —meaning no loss of consciousness or other symptoms that can include headaches, dizziness, vision problems or confusion — cause CTE.”

Click here to see the full story on WBUR.


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