BOSTON — Former New England Patriots participant Aaron Hernandez suffered extreme injury to elements of the mind that play an vital position in reminiscence, impulse management and conduct, a researcher who studied his mind mentioned Thursday.
Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center, burdened that she couldn’t “connect the dots” between the mind illness persistent traumatic encephalopathy and the conduct of the 27-year-old who hanged himself in April whereas serving life in jail for homicide.
But McKee mentioned CTE had considerably impacted key elements of Hernandez’s mind, together with the hippocampus — which is related to reminiscence — and the frontal lobe, which is concerned in impulse management, judgment and conduct.
“We can say collectively, in our collective experience, that individuals with CTE — and CTE of this severity — have difficulty with impulse control, decision-making, inhibition of impulses or aggression, often emotional volatility and rage behaviors,” mentioned McKee, who has studied lots of of brains from soccer gamers, school athletes and even youthful gamers, donated after their deaths.
Hernandez hanged himself in jail days after he was acquitted within the 2012 drive-by shootings of two males in Boston and simply hours earlier than his former teammates visited the White House to have a good time their newest Super Bowl victory.
Prosecutors contended he gunned the 2 males down after one by chance spilled a drink on him in a nightclub — after which bought a tattoo of a handgun and the phrases “God Forgives” to commemorate the crime.
He had been serving a life sentence with out parole within the 2013 killing of semi-professional soccer participant Odin Lloyd when he killed himself.
Hernandez, who mentioned he was harmless, didn’t elevate CTE in his protection at both trial.
CTE, which might solely be identified in an post-mortem, has been present in former members of the army, soccer gamers and boxers and others who suffered repeated head trauma.
BU researchers confirmed in September that Hernandez was identified with Stage three, out of four, of the illness. But McKee had not publicly mentioned her findings till a convention on the college on Thursday.
After Hernandez’s CTE badysis, his attorneys filed a lawsuit in opposition to the NFL and soccer helmet maker Riddell, accusing them of failing to warn Hernandez concerning the risks of soccer. The lawsuit, which seeks damages for Hernandez’s younger daughter, mentioned he skilled a “chaotic and horrendous existence” due to his illness.
While the skin of Hernandez’s mind appeared regular, the within was riddled with CTE, she mentioned. There was proof of earlier small hemorrhages, which consultants affiliate with head impacts, she mentioned. Other elements, just like the hippocampus, had begun to shrink and enormous holes have been present in his mind’s membrane, McKee mentioned.
The subsequent youngest particular person whose mind they’ve examined that confirmed such critical CTE injury was 46 years previous, McKee mentioned.
“These are very unusual findings to see in an individual of this age,” McKee mentioned. “We’ve never seen this in our 468 brains, except in individuals some 20 years older,” she mentioned.
Hernandez inherited a genetic profile which will have made him extra prone to the illness, McKee mentioned.