Newswise — DURHAM, N.H. – Experts at the University of New Hampshire are available to talk about concussions and sports-related head impacts, CTE, as well as novel research being done with helmetless tackling.

Erik Swartz, professor and chair of the department of kinesiology, does research on head impact and the use of helmetless tackling in college students and younger players. A recent study with college football players showed almost a 30 percent decrease in the risk of head injuries in one season when the players performed practice drills without their helmets. It is called the HuTTTM intervention program and currently Swartz is looking at how effective this same behavior could be on high school students. According to the study, high school and college football players can each sustain more than 1,000 impacts in a season.

“This behavior modification is not only about alleviating head impacts that can cause injuries now, but reducing the risk of concussive impacts that can lead to long-term complications later in life,” said Swartz. “These helmetless drills could help to make it safer to play football.”

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Swartz can be reached at (603) 862-0018 or [email protected].

Daniel Seichepine, an assistant professor of psychology and neuropsychology at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, as well as a clinical neuropsychologist, can talk about sports-related brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He can discuss short- and long-term effects of concussions and when it might be safe for athletes to return to play. Repeated brain impact and concussions can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease.

”CTE is a disease that has been found in the brains of individuals with a history of repetitive head injuries, such as athletes and military personnel. It is associated with changes in mood, memory loss, aggression, depression and can lead to dementia,” says Seichepine.

Seichepine can be reached at (603) 858-2966 or [email protected].