At the time, experts spoke of dementia pugilistica
or punch-drunk syndrome to describe brain damage seen in sportspeople who sustain multiple concussions over the course of their careers.
"When I became convinced of what I was seeing, I was convinced it was not Alzheimer's disease, it was not dementia pugilistica
, like you see in boxers.
It is expected that 6,000 of the NFL's 20,000 retired players will develop Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), formerly known as dementia pugilistica
, as a result of repetitive head trauma -- a fact the NFL had tried to deny since a link was discovered by neuropathologists in 2002, until they were forced to settle under pressure from Congress in 2013.
The cruel disease was known as dementia pugilistica
until medics recently discovered it's not restricted to punch drunk fighters.