Dave Duerson’s brain was fried at the time of his suicide. That’s the quick summary of Boston University’s review of Duerson’s brain, which he left for research and study. This from the good doctor via Sean Jensen’s Sun Times post:
“When you look at the brain microscopically, it’s indisputable. There’s no evidence of any other disorder,” said Dr. Ann McKee, co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at BU. “He has the classic appearance of [CTE]…”
“He had severe involvement of all the structures that affect things like judgment, inhibition, impulse control, mood and memory,” said McKee, who is also director of Neuropathology and Brain Banks for New England VA Medical Centers.
It’s really a sad ending to a sad story. Duerson knew the signs of CTE and could tell that he was slipping from his former self. That’s why he blasted himself in the chest and chose to bleed out rather than a normal gunshot suicide.
The NFL’s response isn’t at all surprising:
“We hope these findings will contribute more to the understanding of CTE,” the NFL said in a statement. “Our Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee will study today’s findings, and as a league we will continue to support the work of the scientists at the Boston University Center and elsewhere to address this issue in a forthright and effective way.”
It will be interesting to see if this gets politicized in the NFL Lockout situation. Players and the league cite player safety as a big concern, but are the Duerson findings anything more than a chip that gets pushed from one side of the bargaining table to the other?