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Bills great Joe DeLamielleure talks about his CTE diagnosis



Joe DeLamielleure says he always knew it, but now doctors have finally confirmed it.  The former Buffalo Bill and Hall of Fame offensive lineman has been diagnosed with CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  CTE is a degenerative brain condition that scientists say is a result of repeated blows to the head.
 
DeLamielleure was tested recently at UCLA and is the rare case of a living former NFL player who's been told they have CTE.  Tony Dorsett and Leonard Marshall were also diagnosed.  More than 50 NFL players were diagnosed after they passed away and their brains were analyzed.

Click here to read the full story from ESPN's Outside The Lines.

 
DeLamielleure was a guest on the WGR morning show on Thursday and said his mind is sharp but there have been physical and mental changes over the years.
 
“Its been years since I’ve slept more than two or three hours at a time" he said.  "When you start reading(about) all of the guys  passing away, I go ‘dang,I’ve got the same symptoms as these guys who are killing themselves.”

While many players including Dorsett have said they experience suicidal thoughts, DeLamielleure said he has not, but he did admit to getting depressed whenever he is alone for an extended amount of time.

Gerri DeLamielleure, his wife of 41 years, joined the interview and said her husband can no longer watch a movie, read a book or just sit down and concentrate.

Joe D was asked why he had the test done and what he hopes to accomplish by going public with the diagnosis. 

“I don’t want the NFL to hide behind dead men. I want to be alive and speaking, similar to what Magic Johnson did for HIV.” DeLamielleure added this isn't just about the NFL.  Brain trauma can effect many people including members of the Armed Forces.  Joe D said he's seen it first hand during his work with the Wounded Warriors project.

“We have guys coming home and killing themselves all the time.  We have football players who have killed themselves. I want to be a guy who says ‘OK, this is what you have to do to combat this and make your life as good as it can be for as long as it can be.”

You can listen to the interview with Joe and his wife Gerri, in its entirety:


 

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