Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Aaron Hernandez's brain shows CTE, family plans to sue NFL

Aaron Hernandez's brain shows CTE, family plans to sue NFL

Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had one of the most severe cases of CTE researchers have encountered in someone his age, his lawyer said Thursday.

According to the report, Shayanna filed the lawsuit in MA on behalf of the daughter she had with Aaron.

Hernandez is the latest in a long list of National Football League players who have committed suicide and later been found to have CTE, including Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. Hernandez was found dead in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley on April 19, and authorities have ruled the death a suicide. And the lawsuit his family plans to file could also have massive ramifications for the future of the sport; if found liable at all, that's a Pandora's Box of potential damages, especially going forward.

CTE can only be definitively diagnosed after death.

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Hernandez was serving a life sentence after being convicted for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

A neuropathological examination of Aaron Hernandez's brain was conducted by Dr. Ann McKee, Professor of Pathology and Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, Director of BU's CTE Center and Chief of Neuropathology at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank.

"While we still maintain that he was innocent [of the murders], the CTE can explain a lot of his behavior", Baez says.

According to an announcement from an attorney who represented Aaron Hernandez, researchers who examined Hernandez's brain found a severe case of CTE, the degenerative brain disease linked to concussions and repetitive head trauma. He hanged himself with a bed sheet just five days after he was acquitted of double murder charges in the deaths of two men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.

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The disease is associated with "aggressiveness, impulsivity, depression, memory loss and other cognitive changes", the center said.

Hernandez played 38 regular-season games over three seasons for the Patriots. He was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in a separate trial that took place in 2015.

A judge this year vacated that conviction, because Hernandez had not exhausted all his avenues of appeal by the time he died, a move allowed by a quirk in MA law.

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