Rock Star's Dementia Nearly Costs Him Career In Music

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Before he had a stroke and a heart attack in 2007, Dick Wagner played with rock giants such as Alice Cooper, Aerosmith and Kiss. Afterwards, it seemed as though his career in music was in serious jeopardy, Yahoo report. 

Yet more tragedy would befell Wagner though, plunging his future into even further doubt, as a fall by his swimming pool precipitated a blood clot and surgery. "I woke up from a coma after two weeks with a paralyzed left arm," said Wagner, now 70 and living in Arizona. "My profession as a guitarist, I thought was over." In Wagner's case, it wasn't the initial stroke that deprived him of his musical ability, but NPH (increased pressure in the brain due to abnormal accumulation of fluids), which took away his coordination and timing. "The stroke he suffered usually produces relatively mild deficits, and over time patients are able to resume most normal activities," Dr. Joseph M. Zabramski - his neurosurgeon - said. "Dick cannot raise his left arm as well as he used to, but his fine motor function in his left hand is excellent.

Thankfully, though, this is a story with a happy ending. Wagner was able to have a surgery to undo the effects of NPH by having a shunt put into his head with a tube to drain the fluid in the brain to the abdomen, it will remain in his brain for the rest of his life. Now, Wagner is back on tour with a band in Denmark. "I am like a new man almost overnight," he said. "For five years, I couldn't even pick up a guitar -- I didn't have the strength or the coordination."


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