The family of former NFL star Vincent Jackson donated his brain as part of an effort to determine whether he suffered from CTE, also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, according to The New York Times.
“If anything can be learned from his death that might help someone else, Vincent would want that since he was passionate during his life about impacting others around him,” his family said in a released statement.
CTE is a degenerative brain disease primarily found in athletes, military veterans and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma, according to the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Scientists at Boston University will conduct a series of tests and methods in hopes to advance research around the troublesome condition. The study will also answer outstanding questions for Jackson’s family who claims he suffered from CTE symptoms throughout his career. Unfortunately an official diagnosis can only be determined after death by examining brain tissue.
In football especially, several players have succumbed to the disease. A 2017 CTE study found that 110 of 111 deceased NFL players were found to have some form of CTE. Some of the most famous confirmed cases of CTE in football athletes includes Junior Seau, Ken Stabler and Frank Gifford.
Jackson, 38, was found dead on Monday in a Tampa-area hotel room, where he stayed away from his family for over a month. His official cause of death has yet to be determined. Questions remain regarding what transpired leading up to Jackson’s death. Earlier this week Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister discussed Jackson’s health leading up to his death during a local radio interview.
Chronister said Jackson struggled with health issues relating to alcoholism, adding that his family believed much of his behavioral patterns were related to the series of concussions he incurred during his NFL career.
Prior to a housekeeper discovering his body, Jackson, a married father of four, checked into a Homewood Suites in Brandon, Florida in January. His family reported him missing on Feb. 10, and his body was found two days later after officers conducted a wellness check.
Prior to his retirement in 2018, Jackson played as a wide receiver in the NFL for 12 years between the San Diego Charges and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jackson was selected to participate in the Pro Bowl three times during his career. In Tampa Jackson was known as a community leader and business mentor.