Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had one of the most severe cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) researchers had encountered in someone his age, Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center said Thursday.
Boston University's centre for the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy previously announced in September that a study of Hernandez's brain indicated he had Stage 3 CTE, one step short of the most severe level. The 27-year-old killed himself in prison in April while serving a life sentence for murder.
According to The Associated Press, McKee stressed she could not “connect the dots” between CTE and Hernandez's behaviour.
“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,” McKee said.
While McKee wouldn't say if Hernandez's CTE played a role in murdering Odin L. Lloyd in June 2013. Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who discovered CTE, is positive the degenerative brain disease led Hernandez to violence and suicide.
Hernandez's attorney Jose Baez said he is filing a federal lawsuit against the NFL and the Patriots on behalf of Hernandez's daughter. According to the lawsuit, Stage 3 CTE is most commonly found in patients with a median age of 67.
“These are very unusual findings to see in an individual of this age,” McKee said Thursday. “We’ve never seen this in our 468 brains, except in individuals some 20 years older."