Joe Namath Talks About Brain Injury, Treatments

The Super Bowl-winning quarterback opens up about his traumatic brain injury.
3:05 | 05/25/15

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Transcript for Joe Namath Talks About Brain Injury, Treatments
We're back now with NFL hall of famer Joe namath weighing in on the crisis of brain injuries for former football players. He helped open a neurological research center and now claims an experiment treatment is helping to improve his memory. ABC's Matt Gutman has the story. Reporter: Joe namath was good in the theater of football. Famously guaranteeing a victory in super bowl iii. He was also good at taking hits. He still remembers some of the worst ones. It was a hard hit and a gold flash, man, I never will forget that. Did you know you had a concussion? No, absolutely not. I don't know about concussions, but I had a lot of smelling salts. Reporter: All those hits took on new meaning for him after the suicides of football greats including junior sea. He says he suffered from forgetfulness so he had himself tested where they diagnosed him with traumatic brain injury. You can see here's the right temporal lobe. There's huge asymmetry. Reporter: You can see here how this section of namath's brain is dark. Dr. Lee fox says it's because it lacks blood flow. Namath tells ABC news that like others he had bouts of the blues. Did you ever think of suicide? I've thought about that but I don't plan on doing that. No. Joe, how many times do you think you've been in one of these chambers. 120. Reporter: Instead he started hyperbaric oxygen treatments at Jupiter. They know that this compressed pure oxygen can heal wounds by creating new blood vessels and improving circulation. Doctors here hoped it would increase blood flow in the brain. Doctors placed namath in these pressurized glass tubes 120 times over a seven--month period. Each time he breathed in 60 minutes of 100% pure oxygen and found an improvement in flood flow in the brain and his cognitive abilities. Were you surprised that it's -- Certainly this is a very dramatic improvement. An area that was sleeping and Dore perhaps has now woken up, so to speak. Reporter: Now Jupiter has an early face clinical trial looking at hyperbaric oxygen and brain injury at the newly named Joe namath neurological research center but doctors note this is uncharted territory in the prevention of degenerative brain diseases in athletes. Joe namath may have increased blood flow in the brain but we don't know that that means he won't develop cte. I understand people are looking for hope here, but the data on hyperbaric oxygen doesn't show that it really works. People shouldn't be spending their money on this. Reporter: The trial costs up to $70,000 per person. The hospital says it's raising funds to cover that cost and hopes it can replicate namath's results in others. But Broadway Joe says his memory has improved and counts on being around for awhile. He guarantees it. For "Good morning America," Matt Gutman, ABC news, Miami.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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