New research by Boston University has discovered that former NFL star wide receiver Demaryius Thoms suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) before his death in December 2021.
The NFL world was stunned late last year when the former Denver Broncos star was found dead in his Roswell, Georgia home, just two weeks before his 34th birthday. Following his passing, Thomas’ family suspected an issue with seizures, that he developed after a 2019 crash, was the culprit in his tragic passing.
Thomas’ mother Katina Stuckey Smith told ABC News after her son’s death, “His mood would change, and he would also isolate himself sometimes. He was, like, ‘Mom, I don’t know what’s going on with my body. You know, I gotta get myself together,’ and he said, ‘I don’t feel like myself anymore.'”
Along with his changes in mood, Smith claims her son also dealt with some common symptoms of CTE. Such as memory loss, paranoia, and other erratic behavior in the year before he died.
Boston University confirms Demaryius Thomas dealt with CTE before his death
On Tuesday, Boston University released the results of their study on Thomas’ brain and found that he did suffer from the degenerative brain disease in the lead up to his eventual passing. However, Neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee — a member of the BU research team — said seizures were most likely the cause of death. A symptom not connected with CTE.
“CTE itself does not cause death. You don’t die from CTE,” McKee told ABC News. “What CTE does is it changes your behavior and your personality.”
Thomas was taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was a four-time Pro Bowler during eight and a half seasons playing for the Denver Broncos. He retired from the league in 2019 following a season in New York for the Jets.
- Demaryius Thomas stats (Career): 724 catches, 9,763 yards, 63 touchdowns