Junior Seau suffered from brain damage sustained from his years in the NFL doctors revealed. Seau committed suicide last May and tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease found in post-mortem individuals who have a history of concussions or other kinds of head injury.
Brain specialist with the National Institute of Health studied the 43-year-old’s brain to see what mental factor may have led him to take his life. According to a statement from NIH, the linebacker’s brain showed “evidence of scarring that is consistent with a small, old traumatic brain injury.”
“I think it’s important for everyone to know that Junior indeed suffered from CTE,” his ex-wife Gina Seau said. “It’s important that we take steps to help these players. We certainly don’t want to see anything like this happen again to any of our athletes.”
Seau’s death shined a light on a host of other athletes who suffered brain damage due to their time in the league. He is one of many who have committed suicide in the last few years, including 25-year-old Jovan Belcher who killed himself after fatally shooting his girlfriend.
Belcher’s murder-suicide has not been found to have been brought on by brain damage.