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NEW YORK (AP) — Former football star Joe Namath says 120 sessions in a hyperbaric chamber have improved his mental acuity and physical health.
The former New York Jets quarterback was the first patient of an experiment by a Florida hospital to see if bathing the body in pure oxygen might restore blood flow to injured areas of the brain.
Namath says he had at least five concussions during his college career at Alabama and his years with the Jets. He was in New York today, showing off before and after brain scans which demonstrate improved blood flow.
The National Football League recently reported as many as a third of players can be expected to show premature brain injury. Namath says his health was good before the treatment, but he reports having more energy and says, "now, if I forget things, it's my own fault."
Hyperbaric chambers are currently best known for helping to heal wounds. Doctors at Jupiter Medical Center reasoned they might also help heal traumatic brain injuries.
The medical center has named a neurological research center for Namath. It's seeking funding and 100 patients to continue the experiment.