Dave Duerson killed himself to advance the cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He shot himself in the chest and requested his brain be tested for this disease. The results were released today and he did have a progressive condition.
The doctor, Dr. Ann McKee, said:
Dave Duerson had classic pathology of CTE and no evidence of any other disease, and he has severe involvement of all the structures that affect things like judgment, inhibition, impulse control, mood and memory. The likelihood is that if he hadn’t had the CTE, he wouldn’t have developed those symptoms that he was experiencing at the end of his life and perhaps he wouldn’t have been compelled to end his life.
The doctors were able to find the progression of the disease through increased build up of abnormal tau protein.
Dr. Ann McKee is a founder of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy based at Boston University. They are doing cutting edge work to show how getting hit in the head is progressively damaging process.
They made news last year when 20 football players agreed to donate their brains to science. Here are the most notable:
- Conrad Dobler
- Don Hasselbeck
- Eric Hipple
- Kyle Turley
- Lofa Tatupu
- Zach Thomas
Duerson’s decision wasn’t easy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy can only be diagnosed after death.
If there is any solace in the situation it is that his family can confirm his state on passing.