Autopsy of former NFL player Phillip Adams, accused of killing six, shows CTE ‘unusually severe’

ROCK HILL, SC – A coroner says an autopsy revealed unusually severe brain disease in the frontal lobes of the former NFL player accused of fatally shooting six people in Rock Hill, South Carolina, before killing himself. in April.

Dr Ann McKee, who examined Adams’ brain, said the 20 years that former full-back Phillip Adams had played “certainly … led to a diagnosis of stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy”.

Authorities have said that on April 7, Adams Kills Doctor Robert Lesslie of Rock Hill; his wife, Barbara; their two grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie; and two HVAC technicians at Lesslie’s home, James Lewis and Robert Shook, both 38. Police later found Adams with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Adams is 32 years old.

The degenerative disease known as CTE, which is linked to head trauma and concussions, has been shown to cause a wide range of symptoms, including intense mood swings and memory loss.

McKee, who directs the CTE Center at Boston University, said that of the 24 NFL players diagnosed with the disease posthumously in their 20s and 30s, most had Stage 2, like Adams. The disease has 4 stages, of which Stage 4 is the most severe and is often associated with dementia.

The second stage is associated with progressive cognitive and behavioral abnormalities such as aggression, impulsivity, outbursts, depression, paranoia, anxiety, poor executive functioning and memory loss, says McKee .

But Adams’ diagnosis of CTE was different from other young players because it was “unusually severe” in both of his frontal lobes, the expert said.

Adams’ family said in a prepared statement that they were not surprised by the results, but were shocked to learn how serious his condition was.

“After reviewing medical records from his football career, we know that he desperately sought help from the NFL but was denied all requests due to his inability to remember everything. and handle seemingly simple tasks, such as traveling for hours to see a doctor and undergoing extensive evaluations,” their statement said.

CTE, which can only be diagnosed through an autopsy, has been found in former military members, soccer players, boxers and others who have suffered repeated head injuries. A recent study found signs of the debilitating illness in 110 of 111 NFL players whose brains were examined.

Adams played in 78 NFL games for six teams over six seasons. He joined the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round drafter outside of South Carolina State, and although he rarely started, he has gone on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and New York Jets before ending his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

As a rookie, Adams suffered a severe ankle injury and never played for the 49ers again. Then, with the Raiders, he hit two concussions in three games in 2012. Since he hasn’t retired in 2014, he won’t be eligible for testing as part of a broad deal. between the federation and the old players for a long time. concussion-related injury.

Adams’ sister told USA Today after the murder that her brother’s “mental health had deteriorated rapidly and horribly'” in recent years and the family was seeing the signs” extremely disturbing. “of mental illness, including temperamental escalation and neglect of personal hygiene. Autopsy of former NFL player Phillip Adams, accused of killing six, shows CTE ‘unusually severe’

John Verrall

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