Mike Adamle’s battle with CTE has caused him to try new methods of treatment. One successful solution has been to receive infusions of ketamine.


“This is like getting your tank filled with gasoline,” Adamle said while getting an IV treatment.

Dr. Bal Nandra of Chicago IV Solutions has discovered a ketamine infusion that helps athletes, victims of abuse and veterans combating depression, anxiety and anger.

“The current thinking behind CTE and this kind of a condition is that our goal is to stimulate things that actually cause the brain to grow,” Nandra said. “It’s called neurogenesis. So what we want to do is stimulate neurogenesis. Both ketamine and NR (nicotinamide riboside) are two incredibly potent stimulators of neurogenesis. In fact, after a single ketamine infusion, imaging studies have shown that there’s actually new nerve growth and new sprouting of nerves and nerve elements within hours.”

They are still experimenting with doses, finding out what is too much and what is not enough. For Adamle, a former Northwestern All-American and Chicago Bears running back, it has made his depression more manageable.

“What we have seen is just an overall improvement in Mike’s quality of health over the last 6-8 months,” Nandra said. “He’s functioning better, his memory has even improved, his concentration, his focus and his mood have definitely improved and his energy levels are fantastic.”

“It’s really been a match made in heaven,” Adamle said.

See more from Adamle and Nandra in the video above.

This is all part of a larger message and project from the NBC Sports Regional Networks. Religion of Sports — the media company founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra — has partnered with NBC Sports regional networks for a new one-hour documentary addressing the issue of mental health in sports. “HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports” is executive produced by six-time NFL Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall.

“Mental health issues have been pushed to the forefront of our national conversation,” Ted Griggs, president, Group Leader and Strategic Production & Programming, NBC Sports Regional Networks, added. “Thanks to athletes like Brandon Marshall, Kevin Love, Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, and executives such as NBA commissioner Adam Silver, we know that our sports heroes face mental health challenges, just like so many others. We hope this project will advance that conversation and show people that resources and assistance are available to everyone.”