Junior Seau's family has decided to release parts of his brain tissue for research into whether football-related injuries contributed to his decision to commit suicide, according to an Associate Press report. Seau shot himself in the chest at his California home in May.
Seau didn't leave a note, but his brain — which will be donated to the National Institutes of Health — will join Dave Duerson's as former NFL players who committed suicide. Duerson famously shot himself in the chest in Feb. 2011 and left a suicide note requesting his brain be donated to concussion research.
Seau, a future Hall of Fame linebacker, was just 43 when he took his own life, and his death launched the largest conversation yet about the effect repeated blows to the head have on the brain, and how the NFL has handled players suffering from concussion symptoms. The disease associated with concussion-related brain deterioration, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, can only be diagnosed in an autopsy.