Medical exams performed at Boston University's CTE Center just revealed that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had CTE, reported USA Today. CTE is a debilitating brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE can only be diagnosed in an autopsy, and researchers have linked its cause to repeated concussions. CTE results in brain damage. It particularly effects the frontal region, which controls many higher functions like judgment, emotion, impulse control, social behavior, and memory. A disturbing amount of NFL players—99%—examined after death have CTE.
Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center, announced that Hernandez's brain had Stage 3 CTE. Stage 4 is the most severe. She also said that an examination of Hernandez’s brain revealed “early brain atrophy and large perforations in the septum pellucidum, a central membrane."
Hernandez's lawyer, Jose Baez, told reporters that Hernandez had the “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age." Aaron was only 27.
Baez also filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston on Thursday—on behalf of Hernandez's daughter— against the NFL. The suit claims that the team and NFL "deprived Avielle Hernandez of the companionship of her father," says USA Today.
The suit Baez filed is for $20 million; it is separate from a $1 billion settlement in which NFL agreed to pay families of players who suffered brain damage because of repeated head trauma while playing football, reported ESPN.
In 2015, Hernandez was convicted of the 2013 murder of former semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. In April 2017, he was found hanging in his jail cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass.
Read more about the Hernandez case and why he was in jail on a life sentence.
In other news, Rosie O'Donnell's ex-wife just committed suicide, but she's still not making peace with her daughter.