(WEAU)--Brett Favre is the latest high profile NFL player to admit he is struggling with the lingering effects of concussions.
"I think after 20 years, god only knows the toll," Favre said on Sports Talk 570 Thursday. He added "This was a little shocking to me that I couldn't remember my daughter playing youth soccer."
Concussion specialist Jeanne Brown with Oak Leaf Concussion Clinic says Favre’s confession sheds light on new research that points out athletes can't just focus on not getting that one big hit but on the total amount hits they get in their football career.
"Even if you are diagnosed with 4 in your career, do you have sub concussive blows those hits that don't produce a true concussion? It’s the cumulative effect of these blows that produce these results like early onset dementia and memory loss," said Brown
Brown says the true impact of concussions from NFL down to the youth age groups is still very much unknown.
“Scientifically, we don't know yet because the research isn't complete. We are learning more and more all the time," Brown said.
But awareness of the danger a hit to the head may pose is already leaving an impact on the popularity of America's favorite sport.
In a new HBO Real Sports/ Marist Poll 1/3 Americans say they’re not sure they want their son to play football because of the risk of head injury.
“The biggest concern is reducing the amount concussions overall," said Brown.
Brown says the statistics show only 10 percent of football players actually sustain concussions, but she says that number could be even lower.
“In order to get there we need to reduce the number of hits,” Brown said.