One in five teens has suffered a concussion from contact sports, a new study shows.
The research from the University of Michigan comes amid huge controversy over sport-linked brain injuries, threatening the entire culture of school and professional games.
Researchers found 5.5 percent of middle schoolers have had more than one concussion.
It comes on the heels of a major study by Boston University which showed that children who start playing football from at least age 12 will suffer emotional and behavioral damage in later life.
The research from the University of Michigan comes amid huge controversy over sport-linked brain injuries, threatening the entire culture of school and professional games (file image)
This study analyzed data from more than 13,088 adolescents in the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey, a national study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that tracks US students in grades eight, 10 and 12.
Students were asked: ‘Have you ever had a head injury that was diagnosed as a concussion?’
The group, which included 50.2 percent female, indicated if they played at least one of 21 different sports.
The findings showed that 19.5 percent reported at least one diagnosed concussion in their lifetime, which was consistent with regional studies and with emergency department reports stating contact sports are a leading cause of concussion among teens.
‘Greater effort to track concussions using large-scale epidemiological data are needed to identify high-risk subpopulations and monitor prevention efforts,’ the researchers wrote.
Dr Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who discovered CTE, is hardly surprised.
He has said letting children play the contact sport is ‘the definition of child abuse’, and warns parents against lacrosse and soccer as well.
‘No child under the age of 18 should engage in high-impact, high-contact sports,’ he told Daily Mail Online.
‘If you play, there is a 100 percent risk exposure to brain damage. We can never make these types of sports safe. Can someone tell me how we can make football safe, or how we can make boxing safe?
‘These are inconvenient truths, but the truth is truth, truth doesn’t have a side.’
The study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), comes at a time as interest in concussions among pro athletes has increased in the last decade.