Mike Adamle (No. 1), a former NFL running back who went on to a long career as a Chicago and national sportscaster, says he has dementia. (AP Photo, File)
Former NFL running back and host of “American Gladiators” Mike Adamle announced in a stirring interview that he is battling dementia.
Adamle has been off the air from his television job for almost a year. He explained the reasons behind his absence. Adamle, 67, said he suffers from dramatic mood swings, episodes of rage, depression, anxiety and memory loss.
“I’ve been on short-term disability and then long-term disability,” Adamle said. “I’ve had seizures and epilepsy for the last 19 years.”
I’ve been on short-term disability and then long-term disability,” Adamle said. “I’ve had seizures and epilepsy for the last 19 years.”
According to Adamle’s neurologist, Dr. Michael Smith of Rush University, Adamle’s seizures are post-traumatic epilepsy, attributed in large part to his football career. But it appears they were just the beginning.
Adamle now has dementia and what doctors believe could be Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy, also known as CTE.
“[My doctor said] we see some things that are concurrent with CTE,” he said. “And I’m going, ‘What? How can you say that? I thought it was supposed to happen after you pass away.’ ”
The diagnosis rocked the former Northwestern star.
“It shook my world and it just got kind of a little bit worse sometimes every day,” Adamle said.