Youth football can cause brain damage, experts say

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Football injuries can lead to brain disease, according to the experts at Boston University Center for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is the new buzzword in football. It's a neurodegenerative brain disease, and it's the premise of a new Hollywood blockbuster set to open in theaters next month.

Monday night at 10pm, Ali Meyer will address a new warning from some doctors who say even youth football players could be at risk.

Could football really be a deadly game?

"I think I had like 68 concussions after it was all said and done," said former NFL defensive back, Anthony Fogle. "It's a little bit scary, especially when you start seeing the black dots on your brain."

"I told my wife, 'Hey. When I die make sure they check my brain for CTE,'" said 13-year NFL nose guard, Kelly Gregg. "I know that's morbid, but that's what you got to do."

College and pro ball leave a lifetime of physical scars. Now, dozens of former NFL players have lingering questions about long-term brain damage.

In fact, the newest research opens the door to questions about the safety of the game, even for the youngest players.

Former OSU stand-out Sam Mayes believes the way youth football is sometimes played can be dangerous.

"They are pushing kids to play a game like NFL players play when they shouldn't," Mayes said.

Monday night on NewsChannel 4 at 10 p.m.:

  • What are the symptoms of CTE?
  • How is CTE accurately diagnosed?
  • Who is at risk for CTE?
  • What is the NFL doing to protect players from CTE?