Relatives of the 27-year-old former athlete had asked that his brain be tested for CTE after his body was found hanging in a MA prison where he was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of an acquaintance. Baez said he has no doubt the damage to Hernandez's brain impacted his suicide.
Aaron Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, says Aaron killed himself as a result of severe CTE he suffered during his NFL career - and she's suing the the Patriots and the league for keeping him in the dark about the brain disease.
CTE has been linked with repeated concussions and involves brain damage particularly in the frontal region that controls many functions including judgment, emotion, impulse control, social behavior and memory.
Researchers at Boston University, the leading center studying CTE, assessed Hernandez's brain, said attorney Jose Baez, who successfully defended the athlete in a double-murder case this year.
There was a brief fight over Hernandez's brain following his death last April. Brain was studied at Boston University.
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MA officials said at that time some tissue, including the brain, was being held until the cause and manner of death were determined.
Based on characteristic neuropathological findings, Dr. McKee concluded that Mr. Hernandez had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Stage 3 out of 4, (Stage 4 being the most severe).
Hernandez blocked access to his cell from the inside by jamming cardboard into the door tracks, investigators said.
Hernandez was locked in his cell at about 8 p.m. and no one entered until a correction officer saw him at 3:03 a.m. and forced his way in.
Hernandez had a $41 million National Football League contract when he was arrested at his home in June 2013 and charged with murder.
Hernandez signed a $40 million contract with the Patriots in 2012, but was later convicted in the murder of Odin Lloyd, who was killed in 2013.