Things That Matter

After Aaron Hernandez’s Brain Was Donated For CTE Research, It Was Found That He Had The Worst Case Of CTE For Someone His Age

Last April, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell. He was serving a life sentence for murder and took his life just days after being acquitted of a separate double murder. After Hernandez’s death, his brain was donated to Boston University to be tested for CTE. Researchers have finally confirmed that Hernandez was indeed suffering from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition that may result in memory loss, violent behavior, and depression. It is believed Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, who both committed suicide, suffered from CTE.

According to researchers, for someone his age, Hernandez had the most severe case of CTE they had ever seen.

To illustrate how severe it was, Nathan Fenno of the L.A. Times tweeted out images of what advanced CTE looks like.

Dr. Ann McKee, a Professor of Pathology and Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and the Director of BU’s CTE Center, released the official statement with the original photos.

Credit: Boston University

Based on characteristic neuropathological findings, Dr. McKee concluded that Mr. Hernandez had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Stage 3 out of 4, (Stage 4 being the most severe). This diagnosis was confirmed by a second VABHS neuropathologist. In addition, Mr. Hernandez had early brain atrophy and large perforations in the septum pellucidum, a central membrane.

This graphic shows the classic features of CTE in the brain of Mr. Hernandez. There is severe deposition of tau protein in the frontal lobes of the brain (top row). The bottom row shows microscopic deposition of tau protein in nerve cells around small blood vessels, a unique feature of CTE.

Dr. McKee and the BU CTE team have extensive experience in the diagnosis of CTE and have contributed landmark publications on traumatic brain injury and CTE in athletes and Veterans. Her research has demonstrated that CTE is associated with aggressiveness, explosiveness, impulsivity, depression, memory loss and other cognitive changes.

We are grateful to the family of Aaron Hernandez for donating his brain to the VA-BU-CLF brain bank, located at the Jamaica Plain campus of the VA Boston Healthcare System.

The BU CTE Center will have no additional comment.

Although it may sound speculative, the findings raise questions about the effect CTE had on Hernandez, who had a history of violent behavior. It’s impossible to know for certain since CTE can only be diagnosed by deep examination of the brain after death. At the very least, the findings will continue to make CTE a hot-button issue among NFL fans, players, and owners.


[H/T] New York Times

READ: Aaron Hernandez’s Secrets Are All Coming To The Light After His Suicide


Recommend this story to a friend by clicking on the share button below.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Aaron Hernandez’s Fiancée Opens Up About Netflix’s Speculation Over The Football Player’s Sexuality

Entertainment

Aaron Hernandez’s Fiancée Opens Up About Netflix’s Speculation Over The Football Player’s Sexuality

GMA / YouTube / droz / Instagram

“Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez” is a new Netflix docu-series that explores the life of late football player Aaron Hernandez. The docu-series has sparked a lot of controversy over how the director explored Hernandez’s sexuality. Now, his family members are finally speaking out.

Aaron Hernandez’s brother spoke with Dr. Oz about the documentary highlighting his brother’s brain injuries.

Jonathan Hernandez was asked to help with the Netflix docu-series but turned down the offer because he didn’t feel right about it. However, he does think some part of the docu-series are important.

“I think there’s so much tragedy within this and things that can be gained for other people’s benefit that the dollar amount was the least significant thing,” Jonathan told Dr. Oz. “It’s more so what was at hand and what can we collectively do so someone who is growing up isn’t in this situation in the near future or down the road.”

Aaron’s fiancée also opened up about the docu-series and the tragedy surrounding Aaron.

Shayanna Jenkins also confirms that Netflix approached her for the docu-series and offered her compensation but she didn’t want to participate. Instead, she wanted to keep moving forward with her life.

“If he did feel that way or if he felt the urge, I wish that I — I was told,” Jenkins told ABC. “And I wish that he — you know, he would’ve told me ’cause I wouldn’t — I would not have loved him any differently. I would have understood. It’s not shameful and I don’t think anybody should be ashamed of who they are inside, regardless of who they love. I think it’s a beautiful thing, I just wish I was able to tell him that.”

Fans of Aaron are upset with the docu-series and how they handled themselves in the making of the show.

A lot of the show talks about Aaron’s perceived sexuality and how it factored into his crimes. The docu-series has been criticized for bringing up a very sensitive subject when Aaron is not around to defend himself.

The obsession with his sexuality is really upsetting people.

There is nothing wrong with someone’s sexuality. However, to attach a sexuality to a person who is dead is a low blow.

Out of all the noise surrounding Aaron, one person is being praised for their resilience.

Credit: @versaceclip / Twitter

What do you think about the docu-series about Aaron Hernandez and his life?

READ: New Investigative Report Reveals Aaron Hernandez’s Gay Relationship And His Erratic Behavior With NFL Players

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

New Trailer Released For The 3-Part Aaron Hernandez Documentary Coming To Netflix

Entertainment

New Trailer Released For The 3-Part Aaron Hernandez Documentary Coming To Netflix

Netflix / YouTube

If we’re learned anything from the powerful documentaries of late (Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, etc.) is that our perceived notions of what we thought was the whole story were nothing compared to the truth. In other words, these hard-hitting documentaries explore a person or topic with a deeper lens, which in turn opens the door wide open to a full new understanding. This latest documentary is showing that we only knew a portion of the truth. 

“Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” is a new documentary on Netflix that will be premiering on Jan. 15.

Credit: Netflix/ YouTube

The 3-part series looks into the story of the former NFL player who reportedly committed suicide inside his prison cell in 2017. If the documentary is anything like the trailer, we’re in for a crazy ride — and not the right kind, but the ones that leave you bewildered. 

While the public has some perspective on the situation that landed Hernandez in jail, the show goes in deeper into his childhood, family, and life before he became a superstar athlete. 

The series takes a look at the making of the NFL pro and how Hernandez was propelled from high school football player to a multi-million dollar contract. 

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

It’s a fascinating look to see how this charming young kid turned out to be a killer. If we have learned from any other True Crime stories is that a killer isn’t just a sociopath, sometimes this killer tendencies develope over time, and we never know what was at the root of their issues. 

With Hernandez, we learn through this series that his family had a lot to do with how his life would play out later.

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

The trailer includes conversations that he had over the phone with his mother, including one in which he tells her that there was no way he would ever turn out to be an angel, especially because she was never there for him. 

The show will also include the turbulent relationship he had with his abusive father. An investigative report in Spotlight inside the Boston Globe released in 2018 added detailed accounts of how Hernandez suffered at the hands of his father. 

“Aaron and his older brother were often beaten and brutalized by their dad,” the Boston Globe reports. “Aaron didn’t cry at his father’s funeral, and people took note. He kept it all inside.” His brother said that they both lived in “constant fear of their father’s beatings.” 

Hernandez and his mother also had a very tumultuous relationship. It seemed as if football was his only way out of that chaotic family life. His high school friends recall him as a kind person, amusing, and said he didn’t pick on other kids. 

When the Patriots gave him a $40 million contract, Hernandez’s life just got more out of control. 

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

The trailer shows that all the suffering he went through at home, combined with superstardom, the pressures of delivering for the Patriots, “made him a ticking time bomb.” Not only did Hernandez get into a life of alcohol, drugs, and weapons, and as a witness in his trial said, “it was like he was out to prove something.” 

In 2015, Hernandez was charged for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a former football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. Hernandez was let go from the team even though he told his coach he had nothing to do with the murder. As the documentary shows, he was able to play a successful season with the Patriots even though he had killed someone. 

The trailer also explores one of the most interesting aspects of the life of Hernandez, which concerned his mental health caused by CTE.

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

The documentary shows how Hernandez went from being a fun-loving yet troubled kid to an angry adult that would get violent at the drop of a dime. That kind of drastic change, including his suicide, is speculated to have been a result of his diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is caused after a person receives multiple blows to the head. It’s been highly reported that, more often than not, NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE. The unfortunate aspect of this illness is that people cannot be diagnosed until they are dead. That is when their brains can be studied. 

The symptoms of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety, suicidality, parkinsonism, and, eventually, progressive dementia.  Hernandez clearly showed many of these symptoms, including his eventual suicide in 2017. 

Check out the trailer below. 

READ: After Aaron Hernandez’s Brain Was Donated For CTE Research, It Was Found That He Had The Worst Case Of CTE For Someone His Age

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com