Dick Wagner, the rock star’s dementia was a mystery to him, until doctors managed to find a cure for it and get him back in tune with his guitar playing. Dick Wagner is best known as a close cohort of Alice Cooper (he co-wrote most of Cooper’s biggest hits, including ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’) and has also played lead guitar for the likes of Aerosmith and Kiss.
In 2007, however, his career hit the rocks when he suffered a stroke and a heart attack, Yahoo news reveals. “I woke up from a coma after two weeks with a paralyzed left arm,” says Wagner. Although he worked hard at rehabilitation, there was something stopping him making a full recovery. He suffered from a “mental fuzziness” as well as balance issues, which created further problems, when they caused him to fall and injure himself. In 2011, though, he was finally diagnosed with NPH (normal pressure hydrocephalus), a build up of spinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles.
NPH often mimics the symptoms of other illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Doctor’s determined that it wasn’t the stroke that had removed his ability to play guitar, but the NPH. Now, aged 70 and living in Arizona, the effects of NOH have been reversed, with the aid of a spinal tap, to drain fluid from the brain. Doctors placed a ‘shunt’ in his head to redirect the fluid, via a tube, under the skin to his abdominal cavity, removing a small amount of fluid every day for the rest of his life. Finally, Wagner has regained the ability to play guitar and do what he loves the most. “I am like a new man almost overnight,” said the rocker.