Study Of Former NFL Players Links Brain Problems To Youth Football

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Last week, on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka made a remarkable admission about the game he has devoted his life to: "If you had an 8-year-old kid now, would you tell him you want him to play football? No," he said.

Coach Ditka was talking about how football can cause brain damage — and about all the research on the consequences of repeated concussions over a long time.

Now, a new study of former NFL players finds that those who played the game before the age of 12 had a higher risk of cognitive problems later in life.


Robert Stern, professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine. He's the senior author of a new study on football in the journal Neurology.

This segment aired on January 29, 2015.


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