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When the results of Aaron Hernandez’s brain scan came back and doctors were shocked, at the age of 27 Hernandez showed signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, C.T.E, that are usually found in people well into their 60’s. In an announcement of the findings on Thursday, a lawyer for the Hernandez family said it was “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age.”
Aaron Hernandez, the former Patriot’s receiver, was 27 when he committed suicide last April. At the time, Hernandez was serving a lifetime sentence for a murder that he committed in Boston.
According to Boston University, C.T.E. has been found in more than 100 former NFL players, many of whom committed suicide. Researching C.T.E is rather difficult because it can only be determined if someone has it after death. Seeing as this is the case, Boston University, the lead research institution in this field, has had a tough time gathering brain scans from a large enough amount of people.
Researchers say that cannot exactly pinpoint what caused Hernandez’s violent outbreak, but C.T.E. likely could have contributed to it, studies have shown that the brain disorder can cause aggression, dementia, as well as mood swings.
Recently, the NFL has faced scrutiny from the public after the suicides of players who were diagnosed with C.T.E. post-mortem, including Junior Seau, Dave Duerson, Andre Waters, and Ray Easterling to name a few. Football legends such as Ken Stabler and Frank Gifford were also found to after C.T.E. after they passed from natural causes.
Since the findings, the Hernandez family has sued the NFL and the New England Patriots organization for upwards of 20 million. The lawsuit claims that yearly physicals should have recognized signs of cognitive impairment.
Since research found that Hernandez had severe C.T.E, the family has sued the NFL and the New England Patriots organization for upwards of 20 million dollars. The lawsuit claims that yearly physicals should have recognized signs of cognitive impairment.