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HomeNewsGary Ablett Sr’s devastating brain injury diagnosis after AFL concussions

Gary Ablett Sr’s devastating brain injury diagnosis after AFL concussions

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Australian football icon Gary Ablett Sr has revealed he has significant brain damage.

The 61-year-old has opened up on the recent diagnosis and the personal hell he continues to go through as a result of the brain injuries suffered during his 248-game career.

The man popularly referred to as “God” by Geelong supporters has now revealed he was concussed “8-10 times” before his retirement in 1996.

Ablett has told The Herald Sun it was in 2010 that he first began to notice issues including headaches and skull pressure.

He now says he believes those issues to be the result of the brain damage he suffered while playing football.

He says his condition has deteriorated as a result of the brain damage and he now has migraines, insomnia, blurred vision, significant memory loss, anxiety, fatigue and severe depression.

His fears about the condition of his brain were confirmed when he underwent an MEG scan in November.

The former full-forward says he sought out help to get his brain assessed last year after reading about countless cases of former players suffering brain damage.

He says the scan showed significant structural and functional brain damage

“I began getting headaches and pressure in the top of my skull around 2010, initially a few days a week,” Ablett snr told the Herald Sun.

“It then led to depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue. Under the advice of doctors, I then had numerous scans to try and find the cause of headaches and skull pressure.

“From 2015 onwards, and almost every day, there were signs that things had changed, then about 12 months ago I started getting symptoms that alarmed me to the point where I contacted Peter Jess), whom I’m aware has been a concussion advocate for a number of past players.”

Ablett said he now sees a psychiatrist every month and is on medication to address his headaches and mood.

His revelations come after he was knocked back by the Australian Football League Players Association when requesting to have some of his medical expenses covered.

He says he did not hear back from the AFLPA after informing the association he has ben unable to work in recent months.

His case is another potential legal grenade the AFL is juggling.

The AFL was rocked this week when multiple class action lawsuits were filed against the league with former footballers seeking compensation for brain injuries they suffered during their careers.

Former Western Bulldogs premiership star Liam Picken also filed action against the AFL through the Supreme Court of Victoria. His suit is also seeking compensation from his former club and club doctors over concussions he suffered through his career.

Another class action which lists former Adelaide premiership star Darren Jarman as one of its lead plaintiffs was also lodged with the Victorian Supreme Court.

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