Ex-Cowboys player Tony Dorsett diagnosed with CTE - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Ex-Cowboys player Tony Dorsett diagnosed with CTE

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Ex-Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett has been diagnosed with CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition linked by many scientists to head trauma.

CTE has been at the center of a growing crisis involving ex-NFL players and concussions, though the NFL claims there's not enough evidence to link CTE to playing football. Dorsett's diagnosis was first reported by ESPN's Outside the Lines.

CTE is often linked to depression and dementia, according to doctors. Dorsett, 59, was informed about his CTE diagnosis by doctors at UCLA on Monday. It's the first time researchers have found symptoms of CTE in living ex-players.

Researchers searching for signs of CTE look for tau, an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells. A buildup of tau in the brain is a red flag.

Dorsett told Outside the Lines he is starting to have problems with his memory and his quality of life has been affected. He said he sometimes forgets why he is going somewhere or how to get to places he has frequented.

CTE currently has no cure, but research continues on possible treatments.

Dorsett was part of a class action suit involving 4,500 ex-players that recently settled with the NFL for $765 million. The agreement is currently being finalized.

Dorsett played for the Cowboys from 1977 to 1987 and played his final year on the Denver Broncos. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

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