Good Day Charlotte Video Transcription:
Here is a question that a lot of parents ask themselves, how young is too young to play tackle football? There is a new study out from Boston University that could have you second guessing whether Pee Wee football is right for your child. So, the study found Cognitive and emotional symptoms appeared almost thirteen years earlier in athletes who started playing tackle football before the age of 12. Joining us this morning is Dr. Kathleen Russo from Carolina HealthSpan Institute. Dr. Russo, thanks for being here.

Here you are, you are both a physician and a mother of two kids.  Are you concerned, or what are you seeing that concerns you as a mom as well?

It’s very concerning, the studies are interesting. It’s showing that when children participate in tackle football before the age of 12, that they are having onset symptoms of cognitive decline, mood disorders, behavior disorders much earlier than those who start later in life.

Is this just football? Why is football getting singled out? You hear about concussions in soccer, gymnastics, cheerleading, rugby, etc. There is a difference with football, right?

We know that in all sports there is a risk. The interesting thing about tackle football, and some other sports like soccer, is the repetitive nature of the head injuries. We believe that the repetitive chronic microtrauma that occurs in the brain is what presents the greatest risk for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE later in life. It is that aspect of football that is most concerning.

You brought along some pictures, which I think might help explain to some of your viewers what you are seeing. There is actually a former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman hall a fame great, Joe DeLamielleure, who lives here in the Charlotte area.


This is what we call a brain map or a QEEG. This is of that individual’s brain, that was taken before treatment with us. The first two rows show a lot of different colors. Green is normal. So the areas of blue indicate low power, the areas of red too much power. The last three rows, look at the connectivity of the brain. You will see lots of erratic lines, that erratic nature is ineffective nature.

This individual entered our program and after three months of Neurofeedback treatment, we did another brain scan. You can see a dramatic improvement! The first two rows, show lots of green which indicates normal amounts of power. The bottom three rows show improvement in connectivity, or the communication within the brain.


Here is the million dollar question:  As a Mom, do you let your child play football? Either before 12 or ever?

That’s a question that parents need to answer as a family. Keep in mind, it is the repetitive nature of brain trauma that presents the greatest risk. Also knowing that there are things that can be done to help your child recover from any brain trauma that they may sustain, there are things like targeted anti-inflammatories, pro-brain promoting supplements, like high dose DHA, Neurofeedback, Biofeedback, sleep hygiene, hormonal balance and looking at screen time. So, there are things that can be done too, you want to allow your child to have appropriate time to heal from brain trauma and seek help when necessary!

View the original Fox 46 post here:

Here are two other Fox46 segments, where Carolina HealthSpan Institute has been featured.

Update: 7/2018 – We recently launched the reconnect program. The ReConnect Program is based off the framework and fundamentals of The Bredesen Protocol® with variations based upon our clinical experience of improving the brain function of over 10,000 individuals. To learn more visit our cognitive decline page.

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