Last year, Ray Easterling joined a suit with other former NFL players who believed they were suffering from CTE. In April Easterling shot himself. Now an analysis of his brain has shown that he was, indeed, suffering from CTE:
Easterling, who played for the Falcons for eight seasons in the 1970s, began coping with apparent dementia and depression about a decade into his retirement...Learning the results was bittersweet for his widow, Mary Ann Easterling, who spoke Thursday just hours after the N.F.L. rolled out a confidential mental health hot line developed and operated in part by specialists in suicide prevention.She said she drew some relief that her suspicions had been confirmed, having deduced that he had sustained multiple concussions as a player that she maintained were undiagnosed, ignored or too lightly treated by the team. At the same time, the report delivered a chilling awareness of the pain and confusion that he endured."It verified everything," she said by telephone. "I expected all along that this is what we would find. Ray had suspected that."
"Physicians at NIH's neurological disorders and stroke institute conduct research on traumatic brain injury and have agreed to carry out an analysis of the autopsied tissue," according to the statement. "In order to protect Mr. Seau's children's right to privacy, NIH will not discuss the status of the tissue or any subsequent findings."