SAN DIEGO (CBSMiami) – The family of the late Junior Seau has decided to donate the former NFL stars brain to researchers looking for evidence of damage as the result of concussions, according to the San Diego Chargers team chaplain Shawn Mitchell.
Seau, who played for the Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots, committed suicide Wednesday. He shot himself in the chest and his body was found by his girlfriend in their Oceanside home. Seau left no note explaining his decision.
Seau’s suicide was very similar to former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson. The former Bear committed suicide in his home in Miami-Dade County last year by shooting himself in the chest. Duerson left a note asking his family to donate his brain to the Boston University School of Medicine.
Mitchell told the Los Angeles Times that family decided to donate Seau’s brain, “to help other individuals down the road.”
Researchers are trying to concretely prove the link between brain injuries and depression. While the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming, scientists are still studying the issue.
More than 1,500 ex-NFL players are suing the league claiming the NFL knew of the dangers of concussions and did nothing to prevent them until just the last few years.