Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - SPORTS -

Former New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots player Aaron Her­nan­dez suf­fered se­vere dam­age to parts of the brain that play an im­por­tant role in mem­ory, im­pulse con­trol and be­hav­iour, a re­searcher who stud­ied his brain said Thurs­day. Dr. Ann McKee, di­rec­tor of the CTE Cen­ter at Bos­ton Univer­sity, said she could not “con­nect the dots” be­tween Her­nan­dez’s se­vere case of chronic trau­matic en­cephalopa­thy, which is linked to re­peated blows to the head, and his be­hav­iour. The 27-year-old hanged him­self in April, while serv­ing life in prison for mur­der. But McKee said Her­nan­dez ex­pe­ri­enced sub­stan­tial dam­age to key parts of the brain, in­clud­ing the hip­pocam­pus, which is im­por­tant to mem­ory, and the frontal lobe, which is in­volved in prob­lem solv­ing, judg­ment and be­hav­iour. Her­nan­dez, who said he was in­no­cent, did not raise CTE in his de­fence at trial.

Aaron Her­nan­dez

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