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Seau toxicology report reveals nothing suspicious

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Posted Aug. 20, 2012 @ 4:58 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Junior Seau's suicide at the age of 43 remains a mystery, but one aspect of the case became a little more clear with the release of Seau's medical records by the San Diego office of the medical examiner.

The toxicology report revealed that the sleep aid Zolpidem and the common, over-the-counter pain reliever Naproxen were found in Seau's blood stream, but that the amount found were "consistent with therapeutic use," according to the report.

Zolpidem tartrate, also known as Ambien, is a prescription medication used to help treat insomnia. Seau had reportedly suffered from insomnia prior to his death on May 2, when he took his own life with a single gun shot in his Oceanside, Calif. home.

The report stated that no alcohol, common drugs of abuse, or other medications were detected.

Deputy medical examiner Craig Nelson capped off his report by saying that everything about the death points to suicide and that there was no reason to think Seau was impaired in anyway when it happened.

It reads: "Based on the autopsy findings and the circumstances surrounding the death, as currently understood, the cause of death is perforating gunshot wound of chest, and the manner of death is suicide."

Seau's brain tissue was sent to the National Institutes of Health at the request of the next of kin.

When contacted, the office of the medical examiner had no comment.

"Out of respect to the family's privacy, we will be not making a comment on the report we issued today," Sarah Gordon, a spokeswoman for the office, told PFW.

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