By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — NFL players and other professional athletes get most of the attention for concussions, but a new report says younger athletes are even more at risk.

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Clearly we now know that concussions have severe effects, and these athletes have to be held out of competition for an extended period of time. But a new report from the Journal of Neuroscience has very important information for parents who might have young athletes.

Compared to adults, children’s brains appear to be more vulnerable to the effects of traumatic brain injury.

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A study looked at cognitive testing and advance brain imaging in children and it found that four months post-injury children with prior concussions still had evidence of structural brain damage, despite being clinically cured.

It’s a very important message. Young athletes need to be held out longer.

The stakes are high and the damage could be great.

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