Study: Playing Tackle Football Before Age 12 Linked To Higher Risk For Abnormal Brain Development In NFL Players

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Middle-aged NFL football players who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 face a higher risk of altered brain development than those who waited until they were older, a study finds.

The new study was conducted by researchers at Boston University's School of Medicine and Brigham and Women's hospital.

Researchers say it's the first study to show a link between repetitive head impacts as a child — and structural brain changes later in life.

Dr. Bob Stern, one of the lead researchers from the BU School of Medicine, joined Morning Edition to discuss the report's findings.

This segment aired on August 11, 2015.

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Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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