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November 12, 2018

On the Link Between Concussions and Suicide

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Medicine and of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Evaluative Clinical Sciences Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences,Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 4Division of General Internal Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 5Center for Leading Injury Prevention Practice Education & Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Neurol. 2019;76(2):140-141. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.3445

Tiaina Baul (“Junior”) Seau was born on January 12, 1969, graduated from high school in 1987, and attended college until drafted by the National Football League in 1990. His 20-year American football career subsequently included awards for Defensive Player of the Year and Man of the Year, as well as 12 Pro Bowl appearances. During his career, he also accumulated an unreported number of concussions. Ultimately, he shot himself and died by suicide on May 2, 2012. His family donated his brain to the National Institutes of Health, the autopsy results showed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and this case (along with those of other National Football League players, including Andre Waters, Ray Easterling, and Terry Long) helped drive news media speculation around concussions and suicide.

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