According to a report from the Associated Press, studies of Aaron Hernandez's brain reveal that the former New England Patriot had a "severe" case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The disease—which can only be diagnosed post-mortem—is linked to repeated blows to the head and is associated with symptoms such as loss of impulse control, violent behavior, and suicidal thoughts.
Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd, hanged himself in his cell in April. Not long after Hernandez's death, Jose Baez, the attorney who represented him during the murder trial and continued to represent the family after he died, said that the family wanted to have Hernandez's brain studied by researchers at Boston University's CTE Center.
On Thursday, Baez announced in a news conference that the tests revealed Hernandez's brain had "severe" case of CTE. A separate statement from the CTE Center said that the disease was "Stage 3 out of 4, (Stage 4 being the most severe)."
Though he only played three seasons in college and three seasons in the NFL, Hernandez, who was 27 when he died, reportedly had the same level of CTE as Ken Stabler, who was 69 when he died.