Well this confirms what many of us have suspected over the years since Dronett's death, that his concussions and head trauma during his playing days had an effect that ultimately led to him taking his own life.http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falco ... 21409.html
Atlanta Falcons 3:43 p.m. Saturday, January 28, 2012
Ex-Falcon Shane Dronett's brain showed signs of CTE
By Ken Sugiura
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Three years ago, life with brain disease apparently became too unbearable for Shane Dronett.
Dronett, a former Falcons defensive tackle remembered for his hard-nosed playing style and his gentleness away from football, ended his life by gunshot Jan. 21, 2009, in his Duluth home. He was 38.
An autopsy performed by Boston University neuropathologist Ann McKee, who is at the forefront of research of football-related brain injuries, said that Dronett’s brain tissue was “very supportive of the diagnosis of [chronic traumatic encephalopathy].”
The CTE conclusion made sense of the often violent and erratic behavior Dronett demonstrated in the years leading to his death. Dronett was hard-hitting and tough, traits that enabled him to play 10 seasons in the NFL, the last six with the Falcons. He was a member of the “Bomb Squad,” the nickname given the Falcons’ defensive line in their 1998 Super Bowl season.
Dronett, married with children, also was remembered as easygoing, fun-loving and given to pranks. However, in the years before his death, Dronett often grew confused, delusional and paranoid, behaviors associated with CTE.
Said Dronett’s mother, Candace Henry, “That disease was cruel, mean and dangerous.”
Dronett’s wife, Chris, declined an interview request, but in an interview with CNN last year, she said that her husband played through concussive hits that caused agonizing headaches. He feared that if he sat out, he would be replaced, she said.
“I think if Shane knew at the time how serious [playing through a concussion] could be down the road, he would have backed off,” she said.