New studies fuel safety concerns about youth contact sports

Dr. Ron Tarrel from Noran Neurological Clinic and Abbott Northwestern stopped by KARE-TV to discuss what parents and players need to know about the dangers of brain injuries at a young age and what needs to be done to protect young athletes.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - New details in the death of ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez along with two new studies on kids and concussions are raising some serious questions about the safety of contact sports.

Lawyers recently revealed Hernandez had a severe case of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

That news comes on the heels of a study that says children who play tackle football before the age of 12 have a higher risk of developing cognitive and behavioral issues as adults. Another study reveals 1 in 5 teens says they've been diagnosed with a concussion.

Dr. Ron Tarrel from Noran Neurological Clinic and Abbott Northwestern shared information about what parents and players need to know about the dangers of brain injuries at a young age and what needs to be done to protect young athletes. 

RELATED: Information about concussion warning signs and treatment 

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