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Brain Scans And Big Screens: Dangers Of Concussions, On And Off The Field

It's tough to talk about football without talking about concussions. Deep into the NFL season now, viewers continue to hear about these injuries on a near-weekly basis, as they regularly sideline stars and journeymen alike, regardless of position.

Lately, though, we've been hearing about the injury at movie theaters across the country, too. Concussion, a new film starring Will Smith, portrays the work of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the first person to publish research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to the kind of repeated hits absorbed by NFL players.

Dr. Omalu has argued that kids shouldn't play football until their brains are fully developed — and that means holding off until they're at least 18 years old. But some doctors — including Dr. Omalu's own colleague — disagree. They say changes already made to youth football to reduce risk are sufficient.

This week on For the Record, NPR's Rachel Martin revisits a segment aired last year, which is still just as relevant today. Find the original segment, as it aired in August 2015, below.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR Staff