Junior Seau was one of the most intense linebackers to ever play in the NFL, however that might have been one of the causes of his tragic suicide in last May. Seau played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots over 20 seasons in the league. Seau’s family requested that his brain be studied and autopsy results today showed his brain tested positive for CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He joins an unfortunate list of dozens of athletes to have this horrific diagnosis.
CTE is often linked to having several concussions over the years of a players’ career. The NIH or National Institutes of Health, based in Bethesda, Md., conducted a study of three unidentified brains, one of which was Seau’s. It said the findings on Seau were similar to autopsies of people “with exposure to repetitive head injuries.” With all these players that are willing to donate their brains to study the effects of CTE, it underscores the recognized need for additional research to accelerate a fuller understanding of this dreaded disease.
Junior’s son, Tyler said “I was not surprised after learning a little about CTE that he had it,” “He emotionally detached himself and would kind of ‘go away’ for a little bit, and then the depression and things like that. It started to progressively get worse.”
Seau is not the first former NFL player who killed himself, then was found to have CTE, but one can only hope he is the last.