NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Some researchers are warning parents about letting their kids play tackle football. A study found that children who start playing before age 12 are more likely to develop brain disorders.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine compared the early onset of brain damage in children who played tackle football to the early onset of damage in children exposed to lead.
The study concluded that brain disease like CTE can start appearing earlier in adulthood if a child played tackle football before the age of 12. Cognitive, behavioral, and mood problem became apparent 13 years earlier in someone who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 compared to after.
Fox 5 spoke to Dr. Derek Chong, the vice chairman of neurology at Lenox Hill Hospital, for some perspective on the study. Between the ages of 9 and 12 is a very crucial time for brain development, he said, adding that shaking up the brain during the time when it is growing and developing can have repercussions later in life.
The study included the brains of 246 deceased adult football players. The study supports the idea that children should not play tackle football before they're teenagers.
Dr. Chong said that one should not ignore the massive amount of evidence across many studies that shows that repetitive brain injuries have long-lasting effects.