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Junior Seau

NFL Star Had Brain Disease

from Hits to Head

1/10/2013 5:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Junior Seau was living with a degenerative brain disease caused by the brutal shots to the head he took during his NFL career, this according to a new study ... and Seau's family believes the condition drove him to suicide.

The National Institutes of Health released the findings of the study scientists did on Seau's brain after he shot himself in the chest last year ... and concluded Junior suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease typically caused by multiple hits to the head.

Dr. Russell Lonser -- who led the study of Seau's brain -- told ABC News patients with CTE display symptoms "such as impulsivity, forgetfulness, depression, [and] sometimes suicidal ideation."

Several Seau family members are speaking out about the findings of the study -- Junior's ex-wife told ABC News, "He was a warrior and he loved the game ... but I know that he didn't love the end of his life."

When Junior's 23-year-old son Tyler was asked if his father's career was "worth it" -- he replied, "It's not worth it for me to not have a dad ... so to me, it's not worth it."

FYI -- Junior played 20 years in the NFL.

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Dude should realize his time was up sooner in the NFL. Seau should of retired much earlier than 20yrs. 10yrs seems to be the max longevity for most star players. Some peeps cant take retirement and keep playing thinking they still in their glory days. Then realize when it's too late sh*t like this happens. Just like a drug addict who cant quit. #TRUTH!!

619 days ago


Now the NFL may put retirement age limitations on players.. like a dozen years or so in order to keep their health and save them billions in lawsuits. Just wait... #TRUTH!!

619 days ago

sum dum jerq    

It's obviously a tragic situation that this father died before his time, but let's at least be realistic - a lot of those "brutal head shots that he took" were self inflicted.

619 days ago


So sad that Junior is gone, still creeps me out to listen to his GF Megan Noderer's 911 call slimcelebrity.com/celebrity-athletes/megan-noderer-junior-seaus-girlfriend/

619 days ago


@TRUTH- I dont think it's about limiting the amount of years a player should be able to play, if the person is considered healthy and if the NFL maintained physicals with Cat Scans (which they probably do not do) maybe more things like this can be prevented and then the NFL can say Yes or No to the player based on their physicals.

Seau obviously played for the sport-thats what he did his whole life... It apparent he didnt want to do anything else...

619 days ago


no sh!t TMZ

619 days ago


Jr Seau played the game full out every play. He was so damn good. When I heard how he killed himself, I knew it was going to be brain damage from hits to the head because he was such a good man off the field. He wouldn't have done that to his family if he could have found another way. I feel so bad for his parents, kids, friends, and the NFL also. I have always been a football fan and am not sure how to process these head injuries resulting in illness, depression, and sadly for some suicide.

619 days ago


Not the first time we've seen it in sports or sports entertainment and it certainly wont be the last. Many people have fallen to CTE, it needs looking at and investigating as to why people are still getting CTE in this day and age, it makes people do crazy things, Chris Benoit is a prime example of an extreme case of CTE.

619 days ago

Moment of Clarity    

CTE has been an NFL secret for years - and the NFL don't care. The sad, cold reality is players are property for profits - period.

619 days ago


Everyday, there is a new story on TMZ of some NFL player beating his girlfriend, drunk driving, beating someone up, or killing themselves. Really makes you wonder if all the erratic behavior is due to the blows to the head or just entitlement. It's all very interesting, and sad.

619 days ago


Wow, they just now figured out that playing in the NFL is hazardous to your health?

619 days ago

Nun ja biz    

Loved him! May he rest in peace now. Such a loss to his family.

619 days ago

Rant On    

I would challenge that the fighters in the UFC take more blows to the head than a football player. The UFC will be the next big company to be sought after for money very very soon. Watch your wallet Dana White, they will be coming. The UFC may not be as big as the NFL but its following is huge and the amount of money it makes off of knock outs and repeated trauma to the head and body will definitely trigger a suicide and payout.

619 days ago


Mark my words, they will do away with football. You think it can't happen but it can. All it takes is stories like this and politicians sticking their noses in and telling us "football is too dangerous!!!!". Just wait.

619 days ago


Well that would explain all those suicides from Boxers and UFC fighters...(sarcasim) Come on the guy was a hell of a football player but it wasn't brain disease that made him kill himself. That was his cognitive choice to do that. I feel for his family but put the blame where it belongs and that's with Junior.

619 days ago
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