Former NFL LB Junior Seau suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), doctors confirmed to his family.
According to ABC News and ESPN, Seau’s brain tested positive for CTE, which is a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression. Seau committed suicide last May.
CTE is linked to repeated head trauma and has been confirmed in 50 former football players, according to researchers at Boston University.
The Seau family chose the National Institutes of Health to research Seau’s brain. The former star linebacker shot himself in the heart.
The NFL released the following statement on the NIH’s finding:
“We appreciate the Seau family’s cooperation with the National Institutes of Health. The finding underscores the recognized need for additional research to accelerate a fuller understanding of CTE. The NFL, both directly and in partnership with the NIH, Centers for Disease Control and other leading organizations, is committed to supporting a wide range of independent medical and scientific research that will both address CTE and promote the long-term health and safety of athletes at all levels.
“The NFL clubs have already committed a $30 million research grant to the NIH, and we look forward to making decisions soon with the NFL Players Association on the investment of $100 million for medical research that is committed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We have work to do, and we’re doing it.”