Evidence suggests that even if you don’t end with up CTE — a disease closely linked to football that can only be diagnosed after a brain autopsy — strapping on a helmet as a kid can be risky. Among the 35 players without CTE in the study, those who played football before age 12 had an earlier onset of cognitive symptoms by an average of 20 years, and behavior and mood symptoms by 22 years. (Because of this small sample size of players without CTE, however, this finding is not statistically significant). Of those 35 players, 26 had other neuropathological diagnoses such as Alzheimers, Lewy body pathology, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and axonal injury.

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How Bill Cosby's defense team's vicious strategy backfired: ANALYSIS

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