Kevin Manahan | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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By Kevin Manahan | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on July 15, 2015 at 9:34 AM, updated July 15, 2015 at 10:13 AM
origional article can be found here: http://www.nj.com/jets/

Joe Namath believes he has found a cure for brain disease caused by concussions, but scientists and researchers are skeptical — because the science doesn’t back up his claims about an unconventional treatment, and because, well, Namath poured so much liquor and shoveled so many painkillers into his body for decades.

So, really, who’s to say what caused the damage?

Still, the Jets great, who says he was knocked out five times during his career, believes hyperbaric treatments have reversed his cognitive troubles, according to an ESPN profile:

In 2012, he began an experimental hyperbaric oxygen treatment from two doctors at Jupiter. Neither of them was a neurological specialist, but after 120 trips into Jupiter’s oxygen chambers, Namath perceived extraordinary improvement in his brain function. And ever since, he’s been telling the world — friends, teammates, reporters — about the benefits of his therapy.

Last September he and Jupiter officials launched the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center. With great fanfare, they announced their goal to a throng of media at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York: to raise $10 million for a clinical trial of hyperbaric oxygen on 100 subjects suffering from symptoms of brain damage. Namath would be the lead fundraiser and cheerleader for the project.
Here’s what Namath’s doctors, who are promoting the treatment, found:

To evaluate Namath, Fox used a SPECT scan, a nuclear-imaging test that shows blood flow in the brain. The results were shocking: Red, orange and yellow images lit up on the right side of Namath’s brain, showing normal activity, but the left side was largely dark.

“Well, something’s wrong there,” Namath thought, but the scans seemed to make awful sense: As a player, he had been hit everywhere, but the hardest shots came from his blind side.”As a right-handed quarterback getting hit from the left side, [Namath] would typically be hit in the left temporal lobe,” Fox says.

“When he gets sacked, he falls onto the ground and hits the back of his head. Those are the areas of the brain that we saw had decreased function.”

With the treatments, Namath says his cognitive abilities have improved and the scans of his brain show improved blood flow.

“The areas of the brain which had decreased activity on the pre-scan now are actually functioning normally,” said Lee Fox, one of Namath’s doctors. “And you can see the results are durable.”

Added Namath: “It signals to me that I’ve been helped.”

But doctors and researchers outside his inner circle aren’t sure.

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