Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a form of encephalopathy that is a progressive degenerative disease, which can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem, in individuals with a history of multiple concussions and other forms of head injury. The disease was previously called dementia pugilistica (DP), as it was initially found in those with a history of boxing. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in American football, ice hockey, professional wrestling and other contact sports who have experienced repetitive brain trauma.
Well former Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett, now 59, said that when he took his Oct. 21 flight from Dallas to Los Angeles for testing, he repeatedly struggled to remember why he was aboard the plane and where he was going. Such episodes, he said, are commonplace when he travels.
Dorsett said he also gets lost when he drives his two youngest daughters, ages 15 and 10, to their soccer and volleyball games.
“I’ve got to take them to places that I’ve been going to for many, many, many years, and then I don’t know how to get there. It’s painful, man, for my daughters to say they’re scared of me.” After a long pause, he tearfully reiterated, “it’s painful.”
The 1976 Heisman Trophy winner and eighth all-time leading NFL rusher said he has trouble controlling his emotions and is prone to outbursts at his wife and daughters. Dorsett said doctors have told him he is clinically depressed.
“I’ve thought about crazy stuff, sort of like, ‘Why do I need to continue going through this?'” he said. “I’m too smart of a person, I like to think, to take my life, but it’s crossed my mind.”
CTE is a disease with no known cure, but Dorsett said he was seeking answers to explain his cognitive and emotional difficulties.
“I want to know if this is something that has come about because of playing football.”
Dorsett’s 12-year playing career ended a quarter-century ago, and he said he doesn’t know how many concussions he suffered, but that they were numerous and he believes their consequences are, too.
“My quality of living has changed drastically and it deteriorates every day,” he said.
This is a terrible story, I hope and pray that all the players suffering from this are able to get through the pain and suffering. Please keep the Dorsett Family in your prayers.