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Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg fighting Parkinson’s
Question of the Day
Although his motor symptoms began to show up over the last year or two, Gregg’s wife, Barbara, said he began acting out his dreams about 15 years ago. Kumar said this phenomenon, known as REM sleep behavior disorder, was a possible early warning sign of Parkinson’s.
One time he dreamed he was trying to strangle a snake and his wife had to sock him to get him to let go of her wrist. Another time he dreamt he was back blocking for Bart Starr and knocked her out of their bed.
“It would be like he was playing football. It was awful. And one time he grabbed my wrist and it was bad. I thought he was going to kill me and I had to say, `Stop, you idiot!’ You know, anything I can say to make him stop, and finally I learned to sock him back,” Barbara Gregg said.
Gregg is on two medications, one to help him with the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s and possibly slow the progression of the disease and another drug to treat his abnormal sleep behavior.
Gregg still keeps a busy travel schedule, doing autograph shows and speeches.
Also on his agenda now is speaking out about Parkinson’s.
“I think the first thing is probably try to learn as much as you can about the disease. That way if it happens to you, there are no surprises,” Gregg said. “I think there are things that can be done to slow this disease down and I think that’s one of the biggest things I’m thankful for.”
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton can be reached at astapleton(at)ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/arniestapleton
By Matt Kibbe
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