About their children getting involved in contact sports like football because of the injuries involved, especially to the head.
>>eve russo: doctors are learning more and more about the complexities of these injuries and how long they might last.
Wfmz's nancy werteen has details on some of the latest research in life lessons.
>>nancy: it's the long term consequences of these injuries that can be most concerning and now research is looking at early damage to the brain in young athletes who take repeated hits to the head.
Austen catching football):02 >>nancy: austen played football most of his life, but he decided to hang up his cleats.:05 >>austen rankin former football player "i definitely had some concussions that weren't diagnosed probably in middle school, high school, but in college i had one that was diagnosed.":06 >>nat sound:?
Football players colliding):01 >>nancy: a new study suggests every tackle and hit may have an impact on players' brains.
The study tested college football players for biomarkers in the blood that detect concussions.:08 >>linda papa, md orlando health "it was most interesting, and actually a little bit shocking that they were elevated even before the season started.":09 >>nancy: researchers say this means that damage is not only present, but is persisting over time.
Researchers also conducted cognitive tests on athletes before and after the season, and found that those who struggled with things like balance and memory had higher levels of the biomarkers in their blood, even if they had never had a concussion.:19 >>nat sound: of dr. papa?
"you're going to close your eyes, and keep your balance."): 02 >>nancy: doctors say this suggests that repeated blows to the head may cause injuries that aren't severe enough to be diagnosed as a concussion, but are still doing damage.:06 >>linda papa, md orlando health "validating patients' symptoms is an important part of this, and saying, 'no, we know that you've had an injury.
We have the biomarker level that has shown us that you've had an injury.
Now we need to help you.'":12 >>nancy: and while steps like better helmets and concussion protocols have helped reduce concussions in recent years, it's important to recognize the impact of every hit.
For austen, it meant leaving football behind.: 13 >>austen rankin former football player "i kind of wanted to get myself out of that situation and into something where i could succeed and start what i want to do for the rest of my life early.":07 ?