Junior Seau’s brain tissue is on its way to the National Institutes of Health.
The Associated Press reports that Seau’s family asked the San Diego County medical examiner’s office to send some of the former NFL linebacker’s brain tissue to the NIH for research. The medical examiner does not have any information about what kind of tests will be done on Seau’s brain, but it likely will be related to the ongoing work being done to discover links between head injuries suffered on the field and problems later in life. Seau killed himself in early May.
Previous research has found signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of former NFL safeties Dave Duerson and Andre Waters, both of whom also committed suicide. CTE is a neurological condition caused by repeated blows to the head and it has been found in players at the collegiate level as well as several dead former professionals. A pathologist who has worked extensively on identifying CTE took part in the autopsy performed on Seau and a Boston group focused on the condition requested a chance to study Seau’s brain tissue shortly after his death.
There’s no word on when or if results of the research will be made public.