In an open interview with GQ released last week, former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler revealed that he suffers from some of the symptoms associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy better known as CTE. It’s an issue that has drawn more and more attention in recent years as more former players talk about their struggles with the disease, and more research links it to the repeated blows soccer players suffer during their careers.
“I would say my memory is definitely not the same as it was 5 years ago,” Cutler told GQ. “The number of concussions I’ve had is probably in the double digits. Eventually it will catch up with me. I’m just trying to delay it as much as possible. “
Playing behind porous offensive lines in Chicago didn’t help, as he’s been fired a whopping 322 times in his 12-year career. No season has been worse for Cutler than in 2010, when he fell back 52 times as leaders.
As Cutler mentioned, diet changes and chemical treatments try to delay the further development of his symptoms.
“I’m trying to cut sugar,” Cutler said. “Large amounts of fish oil have been linked to brain health. I do NAD. I am doing it through IVs now. NAD is found in all cells in your body, the mitochondria, the energy that makes every cell function. As you get older, you lose NAD. So I do NAD therapy that basically helps everything in your body. I noticed that this definitely helped me. Everything I can do these days, I try to get involved. “
According to WebMD, NAD treatments are used to “improve mental clarity, alertness, focus, and memory; as well as for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Because of its role in energy production, (NAD) is also used to improve athletic performance and treat chronic fatigue syndrome. ”However, WebMD also says more research needs to be done to confirm and understand the benefits of NAD treatment.
Cutler isn’t the only Bears quarterback to deal with symptoms like this. Jim McMahon described his struggle with depression and early-onset dementia caused by the numerous concussions he had suffered.
But despite knowing the dangers of football, repeated head injuries, and the possibility of CTE, Cutler says he wouldn’t go back in time telling a younger version of himself to stay away from the sport. He values ”the relationships I have made, the memories I have, the lifestyle I and my children are used to”. [to].
“There may be some people who say, hey, this is crazy. But I would do it again and again, no question about it. “
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