Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who committed suicide in April while serving a life sentence for murder, was found to have a severe form of C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma that has been found in more than 100 former N.F.L. players.
A lawyer for Hernandez, Jose Baez, in announcing the result at a news conference Thursday, said researchers determined it was “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age,” which was 27.
Aaron Hernandez' lawyer says Hernandez had Stage 3 CTE, an incredibly advanced case usually found in the case of 67-year-old men.
— Tom Leyden (@TomLeyden) September 21, 2017
C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, can be diagnosed only posthumously. Hernandez is the latest former N.F.L. player to have committed suicide and then been found to have C.T.E., joining Dave Duerson, Junior Seau, Andre Waters, Ray Easterling and Jovan Belcher, among others. Seau and Duerson shot themselves in the chest so that researchers would be able to examine their brains. Hernandez was found hanging in his prison cell.
Doesn’t change a thing in my book, unfortunately, but this outcome was going to happen CTE or not…