Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez suffered substantial damage to parts of the brain that affect memory, judgment and behavior from the most severe case of a degenerative disease linked to head blows ever found in someone so young, a researcher said.
Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center, stressed she could not “connect the dots” between the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the behavior of the 27-year-old who hanged himself in April while serving life in prison for murder.
But McKee said CTE had significantly affected key parts of Hernandez’s brain, including the hippocampus — which is associated with memory — and the frontal lobe, which is involved in impulse control, judgment and behavior.
A video review of 459 reported concussions sustained during the last two NFL seasons has found far more occurred on passing plays than any other plays.
Yet quarterbacks ranked at the bottom of the list, ahead of only kickers, having suffered 5% of those concussions.
Positions in which multiple players are in action at the same time, cornerback and wide receiver, led the list of frequency at 22% and 15%, respectively.
The review was overseen by Dr. Jeff Crandall, chairman of the NFL’s Engineering Committee and director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia.