Soccer Player Diagnosed With a Brain Disease Linked to Repeated Blows to the Head

Many families register their children for sports, here's information on what to look out for.
3:00 | 02/27/14

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Transcript for Soccer Player Diagnosed With a Brain Disease Linked to Repeated Blows to the Head
urgent headline for parents and schools across this country. It's about sacker. We told you about the risk associated with football and disabling concussion. Well, tonight, for the first time, a soccer player has been diagnosed with a disinse liked to repeated blows to the head. ABC's chief national correspondent, Jim Avila, has the headline. Reporter: American kids love to play soccer. Long seen as the safe alternative to U.S. Football. But today, for the first time, a soccer player has been diagnosed with C.T.E., the very same repetitive head trauma disease, found in some pro football players. Our son, Patrick, was doing headers at the age of 3. Reporter: Patrick Granger died nearly two years ago. His brain donated to scientists at Boston university, studying C.T.E. Today, doctors announcing the frontal lobe of his brain was badly damaged. Riddled with the same disease that leads to dementia and depression. Getting hit in the head hundreds of thousands of times is not a Normal part of life. It does not happen outside of sports and abuse. Reporter: It's this move, the header, that is so dangerous for youngsters. Players typically head the ball up to 12 times in a single game. Watch again. That black and white sphere, traveling up to 50 miles per hour. And football players, are protected by a helmet. In soccer, there is nothing between skull and leather. Headers as a youth, under the age of 14, should not happen. Reporter: Since the human brain doesn't develop until age 25, many doctors and even coaching clinics now advise parents against allowing header practice, until the age of 14. While closely monitoring their children for concussions. Jim Avila, ABC news, Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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