CTE founder says avoid these sports until age 18

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Childhood sports are part of the normal active routine for most American families, but famed forensic pathologist and neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu says it's time to change that routine in the name of safety.

Dr. Omalu says, "My position now in age, no child under the age of 18 in America today should play any of the high impact sports, high contact sports.'

He says the big six are:

  • Football
  • Ice Hockey
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Rugby
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling

It is also suggested that there should be no heading allowed in soccer under the age of 18.

Dr. Omalu says, "And children under the age of 12-14 should not play soccer the way we play today."  The famous Neuropathologist sites a Swedish study published in 2016 which shows that a child is more likely to die from violent causes by the age of 42 if subject to concussions in early years, and a higher risk of suicide.  He adds that early concussions put people at a higher risk to abuse alcohol, drugs, and drop out of college.

"This is an epidemic that's far, far worse and greater than the opioid epidemic," adds Dr. Omalu.

Nigerian-born forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu was the first to publish findings of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).  His story was portrayed by Will Smith in the movie, "Concussion".  Dr. Omalu's new book, "Truth Doesn't Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery About the Danger of Contact Sports" by Dr. Bennet Omalu is now available in bookstores.

Check out his conversation with Montel Williams and Markette Sheppard on Great Day Washington.

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