Junior Seau Update

The initial autopsy shows no evidence of brain damage:


Nothing in the autopsy report lists concussions or brain damage as related or contributory to the manner or cause of death. Nor is there anything that suggests the mood changes and irritability often associated with concussions and brain damage. In its description of the central nervous system, Nelson wrote that features of the brain were symmetrical, showed no signs of injury or lesions, and that the arteries at the base of the brain "have no atherosclerotic changes or aneurysms." 

The autopsy and toxicology results were released after San Diego news agencies requested them as public documents. Officials at the county medical examiner's office, citing respect for the Seau family, declined to discuss the findings.

I don't really know whether CTE can be detected in autopsy or not. It would help if reporters clarified that point. But as you guys know, Seau's death affected me deeply. My sense, from the beginning, was that the mere act of wondering whether CTE was a factor was too much for me. And then there was the circling of wagons which came after. 

The thing is, I loved Junior Seau. The way he played embodied something, not simply about the approach to football, but about the approach to life that I've long believed in.I haven't yet begun to really explain to myself why his death, in particular, is so gripping.

I'm not sure we'll ever know if he had CTE, or not. His family did donate his brain--but only under the condition that any results would remain private:

The "release of materials for study was done at the request of the next of kin," said Sarah Gordon, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In