Tests show Aaron Hernandez had 'severe' degenerative brain disease CTE, lawyer says

Tests show Aaron Hernandez had 'severe' degenerative brain disease CTE, lawyer says

At a news conference Thursday, defense attorney Jose Baez said the study performed by the Boston University CTE Center showed Hernandez had advanced stage 3 CTE.

The Times reports that Hernandez's lawyer says doctors determined his client to have "the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron's age" of 27. Boston University officials say Hernandez also had early brain atrophy and perforations in a central membrane.

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Hernandez's daughter.

Hernandez's CTE findings are a significant addition to the growing list of former football players found to have the disease.

The 27-year-old CT native died at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in MA while serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd. CTE has been linked with repeated concussions and involves brain damage particularly in the frontal region that controls many functions including judgment, emotion, impulse control, social behavior and memory.

Baez said the results of a post-mortem study conducted on Hernandez's brain showed signs of a severe case of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

Aaron Hernandez had stage 3 CTE, per attorney Jose Baez.

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. A star for the University of Florida when it won the 2008 title, Hernandez dropped to the fourth round of the National Football League draft because of trouble in college that included a failed drug test and a bar fight.

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.

Hernandez was found to have hanged himself in his prison cell April 19, shortly after being found not guilty of a double homicide. He was still serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, his fiancée's sister's boyfriend. That conviction was washed away after Hernandez's death under an old Bay State law that declares convicts innocent if they die before they have a chance to appeal.