He is suffering from dementia.
Despite his daunting diagnosis, Dempsey remains largely jovial and optimistic. The only time he displayed any overtly fearful concern for his future was when he talked about how some of the guys he played with who have suffered from brain disorders, some of them friends of his, have died in nursing homes. Needless to say, he dreads the possibility of ending up, he said, “in one of those places.”
Jump to the New York Times to read the complete article.