The football world is in mourning this week over the suicide of former San Diego Chargers great Junior Seau, who apparently took his own life Wednesday at the young age of 43. Seau's untimely death has resurrected
media attention on the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injuries, including concussions on football players. But veterans groups and criminal defense lawyers have become increasingly aware of the growth in this area of neuroscience for some time as veterans return from America's foreign wars having survived wounds that would've killed them generations ago, and the criminal justice system looks for explanations of anti-social or violent behavior and mitigation specialists focus on alternatives to the death penalty. What has been learned, briefly, is that traumatic brain injuries, including from just a single fist-fight at an early age, can have a significant impact on the way people behave later – including violent outbursts.
I regret that I don't have the time to write a more detailed post on this now, but wanted to write something while people are paying attention to the issue. I will also note that a little more than three years ago, the older step-brother of a close friend of mine in law school, Shane Dronett, who played as a starting defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons only Super Bowl team, also took his own life after suffering from concussion related disease.