BOSTON (AP) – Aaron Hernandez’s lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end’s brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
In a news conference at his offices, attorney Jose Baez says testing showed that Hernandez had a severe case of the disease. Boston University officials say Hernandez also had early brain atrophy and perforations in a central membrane. CTE can only be diagnosed in an autopsy.
CTE can be caused by repeated head trauma and leads to symptoms like violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive difficulties. Hernandez killed himself in April in the jail cell where he was serving a life-without-parole sentence for a 2013 murder. His death came just hours before the Patriots visited the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory.
A recent study found evidence of the disease in 110 of 111 former NFL players whose brains were examined.
Lawyers for Aaron Hernandez’s daughter are suing the NFL and the New England Patriots over his death.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Boston on Thursday claims that the team and league deprived Avielle Hernandez of the companionship of her father.
The lawsuit is separate from a $1 billion settlement in which the league agreed to pay families of players who suffered brain damage because of repeated head trauma while playing football.
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