Concussion or not, research suggests that a regular season of play can have an impact on the brain.
Researchers at Western University analyzed metabolite levels in the brains of female rugby players at the beginning and end of the season, as well as after players suffered a concussion
we discovered that players who had suffered a concussion during the season had a large reduction in the level of a metabolite called glutamine, "said Robert Bartha, PhD.
" We also showed that players who did not experience a concussion brain had a similar but smaller reduction of this metabolite called glutamine, when we look at its baseline measurements compared to its measures after the season. "
Bartha, a professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and a scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, described glutamine as an interesting metabolite involved in a series of different brain processes.
The research also found that the changes were not reversed even after the clinical scores for the concussion had returned to normal and the athletes were allowed to to play.  The researchers were also able to compare the subjects with themselves, instead of comparing them with a control group.
"We studied the women's rugby team here at Western University and that team was chosen in particular because women are not informed in the literature, "said the doctoral candidate. Amy Schranz
"We followed this team for five seasons and that allowed us to collect data from more than 50 individuals, which included more than 20 concussions in 15 individual players."
The study authors believe that the research could be used to more accurately assess the recovery of a brain injury from a concussion.
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