Sporting legend fights dementia

Aussie rules icon Ron Barassi has revealed that he is suffering from dementia.

Sporting legend fights dementia, Ron Barassi, Australian rules football, 60 minutes, senior, australian

Aussie rules icon Ron Barassi has revealed that he is suffering from dementia. Featured on 60 Minutes last night, Barassi told how he was suffering short-term memory loss and forgetting things such as what he had for dinner last night.

Doctor John Tickell, Barassi’s doctor for over 30 years, said “I’d say he has a form of dementia, because dementia is an umbrella term that can involve 50 or 60 neurological diseases”.  Speaking of his diagnosis, Barassi said “I can’t see the point in covering it up”.

Barassi is a legend of Australian rules football after playing 254 games and winning six premierships. He further enhanced his standing in the game by going on to coach 515 games, including a further four premierships. In 1996 he was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame as an official Legend.

What do you think of Barassi revealing his dementia? Is it an important step in increasing awareness of dementia in Australia?

Read Ged’s take on the story and why Ron Barassi has inspired him
Read more about Ron’s journey at


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    Nan Norma
    30th Apr 2012
    Thanks Ron, Dementia still has a stigma attached to it yet it is something that can happen to anyone. But the other thing is by putting a name to his problem intelligent people will be more understand and not just treat me like a fool.
    30th Apr 2012
    My father had Alzheimers and I can understand how Ron feels. Unfortunately dementia seems to be a growing disease in this day and age and I think if more people stand up and say they have it as Ron has done, then perhaps the medical profession will look into it.
    Nan Norma
    30th Apr 2012
    A lot of research is being carried out. people are living longer and I think that is the reason we're hearing more about it. Dementia is also the reason some elderley people get abused. People take advantage of them. Its happened in my own family. So I do hope the medical proffession can find a cure.
    1st May 2012
    It is a terrible thing, as I said my father had Alzheimers and looking into our family history his mother had dementia - only in those days it wasn't talked about - on her certificate was softening of the cerebellum! Fancy name. My doctor has told me that dementia can be an inherited gene - so use it or lose it. I am using every brain cell I have!
    Nan Norma
    1st May 2012
    If your parent had dementia at a young age, it can be inherited. Otherwise it doesn't mean that you will have it.
    30th Apr 2012
    Thanks Ron for bring this out in the open. we need more awareness of this sad condition. I worked with dementia and Alzheimer patients and to see their upset in the early stages when they knew what was happening was tragic. Then to watch their loved ones pain when they saw their family member fade away from them was awfully upsetting. I had it first hand and personal with my mum. Breaks ones heart to see her fade away from us and not even know who I was. She left me a long time before I said my final farewell. So keep up the task Ron of letting people see what a shocking thing this illness is and that we need to try and understand.
    30th Apr 2012
    yes it certainly is something that creeps up on you i am 73 and the little things like forgetting where ive put something or having to back track myself to remember what im looking for... i suppose the same things happened when i was younger but now seem more prevalent now i mention it to friends my age and they all seem to experience the same so hopefully its just the age we are at the moment........ rowley...
    1st May 2012
    I have personal reason to be very suspicious of the result of the 'wild', long-term, unproven swing away from animal fats to vegetable fats/oils. (In particular one developed in CANada.) Our brain grew and developed on mostly animal fats. It uses fat in its function. To me the rise in the numbers of the awful dementia disease sufferers seems to synchronise roughly with the rise in the use of vegetable oils. I COULD BE COMPLETELY WRONG but if you begin to be affected, if you can, avoid them, go back to animal fats instead for one week and note any difference. It's hard, they are now in everything. This overall point needs investigation I believe. Good luck Barrass. (From a Tiger supporter. Capt Blood days!)

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