Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who was found deceased last February in a Florida hotel room, had the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, his family announced Thursday.
Dr. Ann McKee, who directs the Boston University-based research center where his brain was examined, said in a statement the 38-year-old was diagnosed with stage 2 of the disease.
“Vincent Jackson was a brilliant, disciplined, gentle giant whose life began to change in his mid-30s,” McKee said in the statement. “He became depressed, with progressive memory loss, problem solving difficulties, paranoia, and eventually extreme social isolation. That his brain showed stage 2 CTE should no longer surprise us; these results have become commonplace.”
As you know, CTE can only be diagnosed through an autopsy and has been found in former members of the military, football players, boxers and others who have been subjected to repeated head trauma.
Jackson’s family initially reported him missing as deputies eventually tracked him down to a hotel two days later. They spoke with him and canceled the missing persons case. Jackson was found dead days later.
“There is still a lot to be understood about CTE, and education is the key to prevention,” Jackson’s widow Lindsey Jackson said in the statement. “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.”
Vincent Jackson played for the San Diego Chargers for seven seasons before becoming a free agent. From there, he played five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making his last appearance in 2016.
He recorded 57 receiving touchdowns and was selected to the Pro Bowl three times.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.