Researchers from Boston University's CTE Center say Aaron Hernandez had the most sever case of CTE for somebody younger than 46.
Researchers from Boston University's CTE Center explained at a medical conference Thursday that Aaron Hernandez suffered from the most severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy ever seen in somebody his age, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post.
The researchers say his Stage III CTE was the first case this bad discovered in somebody younger than 46 years old, and the damage from the brain disease would have significantly affected his decision-making, cognition and judgment, according to The Boston Herald.
Hernandez's 27-year-old brain is one of few that young to be studied by BU's researchers, so Dr. Ann McKee, the head of BU's CTE Center, could not say whether or not it was representative of a 27-year-old that played as much football as Hernandez, but she did call the advanced stage of CTE disturbing, according to The Post.
McKee said Hernandez's CTE is "clearly at the severe end of the spectrum" for someone in his age group, but might indicate an acceleration of the disease in younger people, possibly because of the aggression people are playing the game with or because they are playing at a younger age.
In 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. In April, he committed suicide in his cell by hanging himself with a bedsheet.
Hernandez's family is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for failing "to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers" from "the damage of that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries."
Hernandez played three seasons with the Patriots after spending three years at Florida for college.