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Sylvia Mackey, left, wife of former National Football Player <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT004542" title="John Mackey" href="/topic/sports/john-mackey-PESPT004542.topic">John Mackey</a>, greets Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Wood before a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries at the Capitol. A recent study of retired players suggested that <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORSPT000007" title="NFL" href="/topic/sports/football/nfl-ORSPT000007.topic">NFL</a> retirees ages 60-89 are experiencing moderate to severe <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="HEDAI000007" title="Alzheimer's Disease" href="/topic/health/diseases-illnesses/alzheimers-disease-HEDAI000007.topic">dementia</a> at several times the national rate. According to Wood's guardian, fellow former NFL player Robert Schmidt, Wood is a "living, breathing example of the issues of concussions and their correlation with dementia."
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( Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images / October 28, 2009 )

Sylvia Mackey, left, wife of former National Football Player John Mackey, greets Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Wood before a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries at the Capitol. A recent study of retired players suggested that NFL retirees ages 60-89 are experiencing moderate to severe dementia at several times the national rate. According to Wood's guardian, fellow former NFL player Robert Schmidt, Wood is a "living, breathing example of the issues of concussions and their correlation with dementia."

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