Former NFL Player Found Dead in Hotel had Stage 2 CTE 

In Summary

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) can only be detected during an autopsy. Symptoms of CTE are Suicidal thoughts, mood swings, and memory loss. 

Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who was found dead in a hotel room in February, suffered from stage 2 Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), according to an autopsy performed by the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank in Boston.  

CTE is a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma and concussions and is only found during an autopsy.  

Stage 2 CTE is a severe stage of the brain disease and can cause suicidal thoughts, mood swings, depression and a loss of motivation. Some individuals may also show signs of impulsive behavior.  

This degenerative brain disorder can go as high as stage 4, causing dementia.  

Related: Former NFL Receiver Vincent Jackson Found Dead in Hotel Room 

“Vincent dedicated so much of his life to helping others. Even in his passing, I know he would want to continue that same legacy,” said Lindsey Jackson, Vincent’s widow in a family statement. “By donating his brain to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, we hope to continue to see advancements in CTE research, enabling physicians to diagnose the disease in the living and ultimately find treatment options in the future. There is still a lot to be understood about CTE, and education is the key to prevention. The conversation around this topic needs to be more prevalent, and our family hopes that others will feel comfortable and supported when talking about CTE moving forward.”  

Jackson, 38, played 12 seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started playing football at age 12, signaling early exposure to head trauma in the sport.  

She called on the NFL and other football associations to do more to prevent the degenerative brain disease.  

“Vincent Jackson was a brilliant, disciplined, gentle giant whose life began to change in his mid-30s. He became depressed, with progressive memory loss, problem-solving difficulties, paranoia, and eventually extreme social isolation,” Lindsey stated. “What is surprising is that so many football players have died with CTE and so little is being done to make football, at all levels, safer by limiting the number of repetitive subconcussive hits.”  

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson was found dead at a Homewood Suites in Brandon, Florida on Feb. 15, days after authorities spoke with him as part of a welfare check.  

Lindsey Jackson is pushing for more research and discussion about CTE, which has taken the lives of several athletes.  

Related: Former NFL Player Phillip Adams Had CTE When He Killed 6 People 

“CTE will not disappear by ignoring it, we need to actively address the risk that football poses to brain health and to support the players who are struggling,” Lindsey said.  

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