Brain tissue from the former San Diego Charger and NFL Pro Bowler Junior Seau has been sent to a national laboratory, the county Medical Examiner’s office said Thursday.
Seau, 43, was found dead inside his home in May from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Oceanside police officials.
The National Institutes of Health in Maryland will study the brain tissue and use it in their neurological disorder research. They will not be directly involved in finding out Seau's cause of death though.
The federally funded NIH will analyze the autopsied tissue as part of their research into traumatic brain injury, according to a spokesperson at the NIH.
The results of their research will not be discussed, the spokesperson said.
Researchers from Boston University’s Center for Traumatic Encephalopathy previously asked to study Seau’s brain for signs of degenerative disease, but the request was never fulfilled.
Experts say repeated concussions can cause brain damage, including dementia and depression, which can lead to suicide.
A complete autopsy of Seau’s body is not expected to be complete for another few weeks, the Medical Examiner said earlier this week.