Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler says four years after retirement he believes multiple concussions sustained while playing left him with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
When asked during a recent interview with GQ whether he worries about potentially developing CTE, Cutler said he’s already seeing symptoms.
"Oh, absolutely," he told GQ. "I would say definitely my memory isn't the same as it was 5 years ago. The amount of concussions I've had are probably in the double digits."
Cutler went on to say the concussions are “gonna catch up to me at some point,” noting that he’s “just trying to delay it as much as possible.”
When asked how he was trying to delay CTE, Cutler pointed to diet restrictions and some therapies.
“Trying to cut sugar. Heavy amounts of fish oil have been tied to health in the brain. I'm doing NAD,” Cutler said. “I'm doing it through IVs now. NAD is in all the cells in your body, the mitochondria, the energy that pushes each cell to function. As you get older, you lose NAD. So I'm doing NAD therapy, which, at a core level, helps everything in your body. I've noticed that that's definitely helped me. Anything I can do these days, I'm trying to get involved in.”
Cutler said that even knowing the risks, if he were given the chance to do it all over, he’d play again.
“Oh, absolutely,” Cutler said. “The relationships that I made, the memories that I have, the lifestyle it's accustomed me and my kids [to]. It outweighs the benefits. In my mind. There may be some people that say, hey, that's crazy. But I'd do it all over again, no question about it.”
Cutler said that along with managing his diet and doing the NAD therapy, he also tries to meditate 15-20 minutes per day, which he says helps him stay calm and better handle stress.