Freyer Globe Staff January 18, The degenerative brain disease known as CTE starts faster and earlier than previously recognized, as jolts to the head trigger abnormalities even in teenagers, according to new research led by Boston University and made public Thursday. The scientists examined the brains of four deceased teenage athletes and found signs that CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disabling condition blamed on blows to the head — had been set in motion days to weeks after a head injury. They also described experiments in mice subjected to impacts similar to what athletes and soldiers experience, which showed that CTE starts to form right away, after even one hit. The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.
Youth Football Linked to Earlier Brain Problems | Research
Youth Football Linked to Earlier Brain Problems Starting before age 12 may hasten onset of emotional and cognitive problems More than a million American kids ages 6—12 played tackle football in The years before age 12 are especially critical for brain development. Photo by Flickr contributor C. Watts By Barbara Moran A new study by researchers at the BU School of Medicine suggests that playing youth tackle football may lead to earlier onset of cognitive, behavior, and mood symptoms in later life. Researchers conducted telephone clinical interviews with family and friends of deceased football players and found that those who began tackle football before age 12 experienced symptoms an average of 13 years earlier than those who started playing at age 12 or older. Furthermore, the relationship between younger age of exposure to football and earlier symptom onset occurred both in players who were diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy CTE , a progressive degenerative brain disease found in people with a history of repeated head trauma, and those who were not.
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The scientists found that playing tackle football before the age of 12 increased the odds of problems with behavioral regulation, apathy and executive functioning later in life by twofold, and the odds of suffering symptoms of depression threefold. The mean age of study participants was The results held steady for players with different levels of experience.