An autopsy on former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson showed he may have struggled with chronic alcoholism, the sheriff said Wednesday.
Jackson was found dead Monday at the Homewood Suites in Brandon by a housekeeper who went to check his room. Although an autopsy report is still pending public release, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister attributed Jackson’s death to an issue with alcoholism based on preliminary findings.
“We haven't got the toxicology report back so I can't say with any certainty that that was it,” Chronister told radio station Q105. “But a lot of longstanding health conditions contributed to his passing because of some alcohol abuse.”
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The sheriff also said Jackson’s family was concerned the former NFL player might have had issues with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE. The disease is a form of brain degeneration associated with concussions and has been found in former players, including former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez.
CTE can only be diagnosed by studying sections of the brain post-mortem, during an autopsy. Little is known about the disease but it is tied to emotional instability, memory loss, substance abuse and other cognitive impairments, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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