Iconic Howe Slowed By Dementia, Son Says It’s Getting ‘A Little Bit Worse’

At 83, Mr. Hockey is still in demand and on the move. Gordie Howe is about to embark on another series of fundraisers to support dementia research.

It’s a personal cause. The disease killed his wife, Colleen, in 2009 and is beginning to affect him.

“He’s a little bit worse than last year, but pretty close to about the same,” son Marty said. “He just loses a little bit more, grasping for words.

“The worst part of this disease is there’s nothing you can do about it.”

While the long-term effects of concussions have been very much in the news lately, the family is hesitant to link the Hall of Famer’s condition to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease typically found in autopsies of people who have had multiple head injuries, including more than a dozen former NFL and NHL players.

Concussions weren’t tracked when Howe played, so it is impossible to know how many he sustained. And he didn’t start showing signs of dementia until his late 70s.

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