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Report: Duerson Had Brain Damage at Time of Suicide

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 2, 2011 5:23PM

The Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopthy at the Boston University School of Medicine released their report on the brain of former Bears great Dave Duerson and, to no one's surprise, found signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy related to his playing career. Dr. Ann McKee, a co-director at the center, said Duerson "had the classic pathology of (the brain disease) and severe involvement of all the things that affect judgment, inhibition, impulse, mood control and memory."

Duerson committed suicide in February, shooting himself in the chest and leaving instructions that his brain be donated to the center for study. (The mere thought of having the foresight to shoot yourself in the chest to preserve your brain for science is chilling.) Researchers studying Duerson's brain samples found unmistakable signs of CTE in atrophied portions of his brain that contained abnormal brown protein deposits called “tau.”

Duerson's ex-wife and family were present at the release of the study. Son Tregg said, "It’s my greatest hope that his death will not be in vain and through research his legacy will live on so others won’t have to suffer in the same way.”