National, Science & Technology, Sports

NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s brain to be donated to BU CTE center

Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson, 38, was discovered dead Monday. Jackson’s brain will be donated to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center for research.

The BU CTE Center was founded in 1996 and is an independent academic center in the BU School of Medicine. The center is one of 29 in the United States that the National Institutes of Health funds for research on Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions.

Boston University School of Medicine. Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s brain was donated to the Center after he was found dead Monday. SHANNON DAMIANO/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The center’s brain bank, which focuses on traumatic injury, is the largest tissue repository of its kind in the world. The center has more than 600 brains, which includes more than 325 that were diagnosed with CTE.

The center confirmed the donation of Jackson’s brain to The Daily Free Press. 

“All we can do right now is confirm the donation,” Maria Ober, associate dean for communications at the BUSM, said. 

Jackson played 12 seasons in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jackson had more than 9,000 receiving yards and 57 touchdown receptions in his career. 

The BU CTE center has received previous donations and pledged donations from other NFL players, including Aaron Hernandez and Nick Buoniconti

“Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible,” Jackson family spokesperson Allison Gorrell told The New York Times. “It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.”

Jackson’s death is currently being investigated — the cause of death is still unknown. 

In a radio interview Wednesday, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said the Jackson family told him they believed Jackson may have suffered from CTE.

“This is true speculation, but what the family’s telling me is that he suffered from CTE,” Chronister said. “They believe he had a lot of concussion problems … They believe wholeheartedly all of these actions are a result of what he suffered while he was playing in NFL.”

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