Researchers to look for CTE evidence in Hernandez's brain

FILE - In this Sunday Jan. 1, 2012,

FILE - In this Sunday Jan. 1, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) tries to break free of Buffalo Bills linebacker Chris Kelsay (90) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder, died after hanging himself in his prison cell Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Massachusetts prisons officials said. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (Credit: AP)

BOSTON - (AP) -- Boston University researchers will study Aaron Hernandez's brain to determine if the former NFL star suffered from the same degenerative brain disease as Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, who also took their own lives.

Hernandez hanged himself in prison early Wednesday, days after winning an acquittal in a 2012 double homicide case. He was already serving a life term in a 2013 killing.

After a brief public dispute between Massachusetts authorities and Hernandez's family, the former Patriots tight end's brain was released to BU's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center. In addition to Seau and Duerson, CTE has been found in the brains of NFL Hall of Famers Ken Stabler, Frank Gifford, Mike Webster and dozens of other former players.

Hernandez attorney Jose Baez wouldn't say Thursday if he or the family believed potential brain damage from football led to Hernandez's suicide.

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