(NECN) - Superstar linebacker Junior Seau had a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health. The findings come after the family donated Seau’s brain for research following his suicide last spring.
Seau is the latest and most prominent player to be associated with the disease. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease widely connected to athletes and soldiers.
Dr. Robert Cantu has done pioneering research on the subject, leading the way at Boston University.
Dr. Cantu talks about how the independent researchers received three unmarked brains, and all three chose Jr. Seau’s brain as one with CTE.
While Dr. Cantu says the Patriots players can’t focus on CTE this weekend, as they prepare for the Houston Texans, the message is that if a player has symptoms, he should bring them to medical attention, especially if there are issues of depression or suicide.
“Although we cannot arrest and stop the disease itself, we can treat the symptoms and improve people’s quality of life,” Dr. Cantu says. “Had Jr. Seau sought treatment, very likely, he would be alive today.”
Watch the attached video for more.
Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and more