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Read it at New York Times
A new study of NFL retirees in the medical journal Neurology found that players who began playing tackle football before age 12 increased their risk of developing memory and thinking problems later in life. Tests were given to 42 former NFL players ages 41 to 65 who had experienced cognitive problems for at least six months. Half responded that they had started playing tackle football before age 12. Those who started young recalled fewer words from a list shown to them 15 minutes prior and exhibited less mental flexibility.