Super Bowl overshadowed a new head injury study

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Chris Rossmann

During all the excitement about some dancing sharks and the Super Bowl, a far more important bit of research was released without anyone noticing.

According to the Huffington Post, Boston University’s School of Medicine released a new study focusing on the effects of starting to play football before the age of 12. They focused their study on players who made it to the NFL and had complained of “cognitive, behavioral, and mood symptoms” within the last six months.

The researchers found that players who began playing football before the age of 12 performed “significantly worse” on cognitive tests than those who started after the age of 12.

“They were worse on all the tests we looked at,” Dr. Robert Stern, the senior author of the study and a professor of neurology and neurosurgery, told ESPN. “They had problems learning and remembering lists of words. They had problems with being flexible in their decision-making and problem-solving.”

Although the study has a relatively small sample size of former NFL players, the study joins the growing amount of research on the cumulative effects of hits to the head while playing football.

For more information:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/03/youth-football-concussions_n_6606554.html?utm_hp_ref=college&ir=College

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/12243012/ex-nfl-players-played-tackle-football-youth-more-likely-thinking-memory-problems