Aaron Hernandez's family wants to donate brain to see if he had CTE

Aaron Hernandez's family wants to donate brain to see if he had CTE

Aaron Hernandez's family wants to donate brain to see if he had CTE

Aaron Hernandez's attorney Jose Baez held a press conference Thursday in front of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Boston to address the issue of the former tight end's remains. He was upset after Boston University dropped out, in his words, at the last second from picking up Hernandez's brain.

According to Baez, the Hernandez family wants to donate the former NFL player's brain for the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE. The recently discovered degenerative brain disease, which can only be diagnosed after death, is commonly found in former NFL players, and the symptoms in living players are often troublesome.

Baez says the Medical Examiner's Office is holding Hernandez's brain "illegally" against the family's wishes. He threatened to go to court if the issue isn't resolved the way he wants.

"We're here to prevent something tragic from happening to his remains," Baez said, who wants the brain studied at Boston University because the school's CTE Center "is the finest lab in the country to be able to do this."

He isn't confident in the Medical Examiner's Office saying, "Why all the sudden the Medical Examiner's Office decides to be a CTE unit, I have no idea."

Baez also plans to have "arguably the best forensic pathologist" Dr. Michael Baden perform an independent autopsy on the body.

Reporters tried to get Baez to discuss other topics, but he was focused on the topic of Hernandez's remains. He refused to address the report from Wednesday night claiming the tight end had "John 3:16" written on his forehead in red marker.

Hernandez was found dead early Wednesday, hanging by a bedsheet in his cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center. State authorities said he did it himself, but Baez said Wednesday he wants an investigation to make sure there was no foul play.


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NFL community reacts to news of Aaron Hernandez's prison suicide

UPDATE: The Worcester District Attorney's Office released a statement Thursday, after Baez's press conference, ruling Hernandez's death a suicide. They also said they will now follow the family's wishes and let Boston University take the former player's brain.



The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released Mr. Hernandez’s body on Wednesday, but withheld some tissue including his brain until the cause and manner of death was determined. Now that the cause and manner of death have been determined, the brain will be released to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center as Mr. Hernandez’s family wishes. The center studies a progressive degenerative brain disease found in some athletes who have experienced repetitive brain trauma.


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