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Former NFL star wide receiver Demarius Thomas had a CTE when he died, parents say

(CNN)Former NFL playerDemarius Thomasbecame a Stage 2 CTE when he died at the end of last year. He was suffering. His parents.

Katina Stuckey Smith and Bobby Thomas said the diagnosis was made after a brain examination of the posthumous son ofin December, according to thenews release. .. Concussion Legacy Foundation.

Smith and Thomas told ABC News that their 33-year-old son died of cardiac arrest in June 2021 caused by a seizure disorder that led to his retirement from football. According to the

CTE, knownMayo Clinic, chronic traumatic encephalopathy occurs when the brain begins to degenerate due to repeated head trauma. It has been found in the brains of people playing soccer and other contact sports, and the diagnosis is currently only possible by autopsy by studying parts of the brain, the clinic said.

Dr. Ann McKee, a professor of neurology and pathology at the CTE Center at Boston University, studied and diagnosed Thomas' brain.

He "found what he saw on many other players under the age of 34," McKee told ABC News. "Degeneration of deeper areas of the brain has begun based on multiple lesions of the frontal and temporal lobes. He was diagnosed with CTE, stage 2."

She said: Added to. "CTE itself does not cause death. You do not die in CTE .... What CTE does is change your behavior and personality."

Thomas' parents said: He told ABC News that he saw his son deal with many CTE symptoms in the months leading up to his death, including paranoia, memory loss, and frequent headaches.

"His mood changes and he will sometimes isolate himself," Smith said. "He was like,'Mom, I don't know what's going on with my body. I have to be with you,' and he said,'I don't feel like myself anymore.'

When doctors began to explain the side effects of CTE, Thomas' father said, "The bell started ringing."

"When they said it, I was like,'Man, he was doing it ... he did it too!'" Bobby Thomas recalled in ABC News. rice field.

Smith said he decided to donate Thomas' brain for his research.

"At first I didn't want to do it. I opposed it," Smith said. "But remembering the DT conversation, he said,'Mom, I want to help other players if anything happens.'

Thomas is considered one of the best. Increasingly a wide receiver in Denver Broncos history. He spent most of his career in Denver, winning two AFC Championships and the Super Bowl 50. The NFL Star was also named to multiple Pro Bowls and is the second in Broncos history. It's a receive yard.

Thomas was traded to Houston Texans in the 2018 season and later ended his career at the New York Jets.

CNN is NFL on Thomas' diagnosis. I contacted.