Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide in May of this year. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest and did not leave a note. His death reminded many of Dave Duerson’s, a former Chicago Bears safety who committed suicide. Duerson arranged for the Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy to study his brain tissue for links between football-related head injuries and depression.
In a similar move, Seau’s family donated some of his brain tissues to the National Institute of Health to find out if football injuries lead to Seau’s brain damage and depression. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will study the samples for signs of traumatic brain injuries.
Initially after Junior’s death, his family said they would donate samples of his brain for study. A few days after that, family members reconsidered, saying they were not sure if that was the best idea. So far, the family has not issued a comment about the decision to release Seau’s brain tissue samples.
Hopefully the family’s decision will determine how big a role Seau’s head injuries played in the depression that eventually took his life. As former athletes start to speak up about the sport’s long-term health effects, it becomes clear that we need more studies. If you know an athlete who may have a traumatic brain injury, give us a call at (866) 377-3800 to discuss your options at no charge.
The Metier Law Firm, LLC – Denver injury attorneys