LISTEN UP MOM & DAD: If your child plays tackle football, you’ll want to hear the latest research findings in the Annals of Neurology. They show playing tackle football before the age of 12 can lead to earlier onset of brain problems…

Researchers found players who start this young are hit with cognitive and behavioral issues 13 years earlier than players who start after 12-years-old.

“While not all children playing football will have these issues, it appears that the developing brain is vulnerable to repeated sub-concussive hits,” says Dr. Peter McAllister of New England Institute for Neurology & Headache. He says, “Parents should consider this when deciding whether or not to sign their youngsters up.”

These study findings follow recent breakthrough research that showed repeated hits to the head (and not necessarily concussions) cause CTE – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy – and other brain issues later in life. Researchers believe that CTE happens when Tau protein forms clumps that spread through the brain, killing brain cells.  Click here for more from The Concussion Foundation.

Researchers at the BU CTE Center say their findings are based on the deceased brains of football players who had CTE and interviews with those players’ friends and family.

For more about CTE, check out this at NEINH video blog:


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Emmy-winning reporter Gillian Neff has been covering health topics for 16 years. She is currently a freelance reporter and anchor at News 12 Connecticut and also pursues her passion for medical news through Gillian Neff Health Reports’ blogs and videos.

Gillian Neff

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