Tuesday, 17 July 2012

CTE isn't just something you discover during the autopsy: the story of Steve Hendrickson

Really interesting story of former NFL’er Steve Hendrickson, who at 45 is dealing with probable chronic traumatic encephelopathy (CTE). It is a relief in a way that these poor guys who used to be dismissed as being ‘punch-drunk’ or just never too bright to begin with, now can be diagnosed with a medical condition and at least know what is wrong. Another positive is that he is starting to receive disability payments from the NFL’s pension program.
In Mr. Hendrickson’s case, his health has deteriorated so much that his appearance in the cover photo is shocking, I did a double take, since he looks like he’s 75, not middle-aged. I’m not sure how many people remember him, but he was a bit of a funny guy, was quotable in a John Kruk-Lenny Dykstra-Charles Barkley kind of way. Amazing that a guy who seemed to be so vibrant and in charge has gone downhill so fast.
Another interesting facet is how his daughter describes his mood swings, how she would avoid him sometimes and just thought that was how he was, not a symptom of a medical condition. For anyone who’s read Bob Probert’s biography, or remembers his career, we all thought the same thing, that he was erratic and an uncontrollable wild man, not that he was suffering early onset dementia.

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