The Boston University’s centre for Traumatic Encephalopathy is looking to obtain Junior Seau’s brain, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports.The BU brain centre has become famous for its research into the long-term effects of head trauma.
Seau killed himself with a gunshot to the chest yesterday. The last former NFL player to commit suicide this way, Dave Duerson, left a note saying that he shot himself in the chest to preserve his brain for science.
The centre studied Duerson’s brain and concluded that he has CTE — a degenerative brain disease found in athletes and retired athletes with a history of repeated hits to the head and concussions.
According to BU’s website, the disease “is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia.”
While it’s easy to speculate that Seau’s suicide could be CTE-related, there are some important caveats before we speculate too much:
1. Seau didn’t leave a note.
2. Seau was never listed with a concussion on an NFL injury report, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Regardless of whether or not he had CTE, Seau’s death has prompted a discussion about the NFL’s deepest, darkest fear — that the game could be fundamentally unsafe, and even fatal.
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