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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

Getty/ Boston University

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


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As The Federal Government Argues With The NFL And Debates Healthcare, J.Lo And New York State Are Helping Puerto Rico

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As The Federal Government Argues With The NFL And Debates Healthcare, J.Lo And New York State Are Helping Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is still without power and supplies are running low after Hurricane Maria devastated the island territory last week. Things have gotten so bad on the island that the governor is pleading with the U.S. government to help Puerto Rico recover before there is a humanitarian crisis. Numerous groups have come forward to raise funds and gather supplies for those affected on the island and the latest announcement of relief comes from Jennifer Lopez and New York. Here’s what the singer and the city are doing to help Puerto Rico in their time of need.

Jennifer Lopez will be donating $1 million from her Las Vegas residency shows to Puerto Rico relief efforts.

“Alex Rodriguez and I, who are both New Yorkers, are using all our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports and business to garner support for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” Lopez said at a press conference with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

According to Billboard, the singer is also working with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Puerto Rican Mavs player J.J. Barea to send two planes worth of supplies and generators to Puerto Rico as they wait for government assistance.

New York City and New York state officials have also announced relief efforts to lift Puerto Rico out of their crisis.

NYC Sending Support to Puerto Rico

“This is an unprecedented event in Puerto Rico.”

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio announce that New York City will be sending aid and support to Puerto Rico.

Text UNIDOS to 41444 to help support the relief efforts or contact Hispanic Federation for more details.

Stay tuned for more details If you would like to volunteer to help the island and items that are needed at this time.

Posted by Melissa Mark-Viverito on Thursday, September 21, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo has established The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico. Through the program, people can either donate money, find ways to volunteer in the relief effort and learn where they can drop off supplies they wish to be sent to Puerto Rico.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but New York is going to walk that road with you every step of the way,” Gov. Cuomo said at the press conference, according to The New York Times.

Gov. Cuomo was in Puerto Rico with Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló surveying the damage from Hurricane Maria.

During his visit, Gov. Cuomo called on President Trump and Congress to focus on Puerto Rico rather on things that don’t do any good for the American people.

“To our colleagues in federal government, I humbly suggest that at this time, instead of arguing with football players, instead of obsessing how to take health care from the poor in this country, why don’t we put the politics aside and focus on helping Americans?” Gov. Cuomo told the press according to The New York Times.


READ: Puerto Rico Is Completely Flooded And Could Go Months Without Electricity. Here’s How People In The U.S. Are Uniting Beautifully To Help

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