The autopsy of former NFL player Adrian Robinson, who died earlier this year of a suicide by hanging, showed he suffered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease "linked to repeated blows to the head."
According to an Associated Press report, the diagnosis was confirmed at Boston University, which is at the forefront of CTE research.
Robinson, a linebacker who played for six NFL franchises after going undrafted in 2012, died May 16. The AP report indicates he suffered "several" concussions while playing professional football.
"He went from being one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to talk to, to having a darker edge at times," Ben Andreozzi, the family's lawyer, told the AP. "The family started noticing changes in his behavior, and didn't know why."
CTE is a progressive, degenerative disorder that can cause significant changes in a person's behavior. Those who suffer from the disease may go through bouts of depression, have difficulty thinking, have short-term memory loss and can be suicidal, according to the Mayo Clinic. The brains of former NFLers Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and dozens of others have shown CTE after being examined following their deaths.
According to the AP report, former WWE Superstar Chris Nowinski, who helped publicize Boston University's CTE research, indicated 88 of 92 NFL players studied showed signs of the disease. The NFL is currently in the midst of settling a lawsuit brought forth by former players who claim the league hid the long-term dangers of football-related repetitive trauma.
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