UCLA researchers have found that former NFL player Tony Dorsett, above, showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating condition linked to repeated blows to the head. (Martha Irvine, Associated Press / January 25, 2012)

[Los Angeles Times]

UCLA researchers have found that former NFL player Tony Dorsett, above, showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating condition linked to repeated blows to the head. (Martha Irvine, Associated Press / January 25, 2012)

A brain-injury claim by former National Football League player Tony Dorsett was thrown out by a California workers’ compensation panel just months before he was diagnosed with early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating condition linked to repeated blows to the head.

The 59-year-old Hall of Fame running back’s claim was dismissed in May when a workers’ compensation judge ruled that because Dorsett had agreed to an $85,000 settlement for injuries to “multiple orthopaedic body parts” in 1991, he could not file another claim for any subsequent injury, state records show.

On Wednesday it was revealed that researchers at UCLA had found that Dorsett and two other former NFL players showed signs of CTE. The degenerative disease has been found in the autopsied brains of dozens of former NFL players, among them Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. But only recently have diagnoses in living subjects been possible.

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