Doctors at the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology have been studying the brains of college students as part of an ongoing attempt to learn more about the long-term effects of concussions and brain damage. By studying the brain activity of both student with concussions and those without, researchers were able to determine that injuries cause the brain to age more quickly because of the breakdown of normal cognitive functions. While on the surface, this news may seem negative, the study is currently in its earliest stages, as the researchers hope to soon use people with a history of concussions and brain injuries in different age groups to determine how they can fight any aging processes and deterioration that remains consistent. According to WXYZ, the ABC affiliate in Detroit, the immediate goal of the study is to find a link between the age at which an injury is sustained and the age at which more serious complications become evident. “The last thing we want is for people to panic,” said Steven Broglio, assistant professor of Kinesiology and director of the Neurotrauma Research Laboratory. “Just because you’ve had a concussion does not mean your brain will age more quickly or you’ll get Alzheimer’s.” “What we don’t know is it you had a single concussion in high school, does that mean you will get dementia at age 50? Clinically, we don’t see that. What we think is it will be a dose response. ” “If you played soccer and sustained some head impacts and maybe one concussion, then you may have a little risk. If you went on and played in college and took more head and sustained two more concussions, you’re probably at a little bigger risk. Then if you play professionally for a few years, and take more hits to the head, you increase the risk even more.” Another possible result of this study as it progresses is to better understand concussions and how to diagnose them, as the symptoms – such as amnesia, confusion, and headaches – take longer to present themselves in some people than others.