Aaron Hernandez, the NFL star player who committed suicide in April, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) Grade 3, a level never before seen in such a young person, as revealed by a group of researchers at Boston University this Thursday. The discovery adds a new perspective to the tumultuous life of the American football player, who hanged himself with sheets in his cell while serving a life sentence from 2015 for murdering a man.
The disease, associated with the strong blows that athletes receive from this sport, would have affected their ability to make decisions, control their impulses and process information. His brain, according to investigators, presented damage to the frontal lobe and black spots, abnormalities in a healthy organ. Other parts, related to emotional behavior, fear, anxiety, or even the ability to hear sounds, were severely damaged.
"Clearly, for his age, he belonged to the most severe category." "His brain is one of the greatest contributions to our work," said Ann Mckee, the center's director. Mckee also noted that Hernandez was a clear example of the severity that the disease can take in a young person who has played American football and received numerous bruises.
The researchers had not seen anything similar in their more than 10 years studying the development of the disease. "We haven't seen this in the 468 brains we've examined except in people 20 years older than Hernandez," Mckee said.
Hernandez ' case is one of the most alarming but not the only. For years the NFL has paid millions of dollars to thousands of players and explayers in the league to cover their brain damage by the sudden clashes that propitiates the game. A study published in July revealed that 99% of professional players in this sport suffer from some degree of CTE. Medical research has heightened awareness of severe brain injury but has not caused changes in the rules of the game. The NFL business, millionaire, persists despite overwhelming scientific evidence.
The New England Patriots ' star, who came to sign a $40 million contract, was serving life sentences for shooting at 2013 Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional player who maintained a sentimental relationship with his fiancée's sister. Never clarified motives. In prison, according to numerous media reports, Hernández maintained a relationship with another prisoner. About the athlete, of Puerto Rican origin, rumors were circulating about his alleged homosexuality.