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Junior Seau's death has been ruled a suicide by the San Diego County medical examiner's office. The AP's John Mone reports ...
his death is once again raising questions about brain injuries in former football players. (May 3)
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[Location - Date:SAN DIEGO - MAY 3, 2012][Source:AP][VO:]THE IMPROMPTU SHRINE OUTSIDE A FOOTBALL LEGEND'S HOUSE CONTINUES TO GROW…[PAUSE-WOMAN PRAYING]IT'S NOT A SURPRISE TO ANNETTE BUSH, WHO GLEEFULLY WEARS THE NUMBER OF HER HERO---" he meant a lot to all of us. He was a stellar player."[VOICE OVER]THE EMOTIONS FOR FANS ARE STILL RAW..''we're gonna be missing him a lot."[VOICE OVER]BUT THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF RETIRED PRO FOOTBALL PLAYER JUNIOR SEAU IS PROVOKING QUESTIONS-[SOT][[SUPER: LOUIS SADOWSKI //CHARGER FAN]"he was such a joyful person. What brought him down to this point."[VOICE OVER]ON THURSDAY THE SAN DIEGO MEDICAL EXAMINER CONFIRMED WHAT INVESTIGATORS ALREADY BELIEVED-THE BELOVED SAN DIEGO CHARGERS LINEBACKER COMMITTED SUICIDE…A GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE CHEST.THE OFFICE SAYS ITS AWAITING WORD FROM SEAU'S FAMILY ON WHETHER TO TURN OVER HIS BRAIN TO UNIDENTIFIED RESEARCHERS FOR STUDY…WHICH NOW BEGS THE QUESTION-DID A LIFETIME OF FOOTBALL AND HARD HITS AFFECT SEAU'S MENTAL HEALTH?[[SOT][[SUPER: DR. NEIL MARTIN/ UCLA BRAIN INJURY RESEARCH CENTER]"and it doesn't require a history of recognized concussions, it's just that repeated chronic impact over and over again." [[VOICE OVER]DR. NEIL MARTIN, A NEUROSURGEON AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES, SAYS FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYERS, BOXERS AND HOCKEY PLAYERS ARE AT RISK FOR A DEGENERATIVE BRAIN CONDITION-CALLED CTE-OR CHRONIC TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY[[SOT][[SUPER: DR. NEIL MARTIN/ UCLA BRAIN INJURY CENTER]"it begins with depression, loss of concentration, temper flare ups personality changes and ultimately memory disorders and speech impairment and slowness of movement."[VOICE OVER]AND IT'S A TOPIC THAT DOCTORS ARE LOOKING AT ACROSS THE COUNTRY -[[SOT][SUPER:"that rocketing around that goes on with this jelly like mass inside the skull, really tears nerve fibers, and that accumulates over time."[[VOICE OVER]FORMER CHICAGO BEARS SAFETY DAVE DUERSON, COMMITTED SUICIDE IN THE SAME MANNER…ALTHOUGH IN A NOTE HE WROTE PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, HE WANTED HIS BRAIN RESEARCHED.DOZENS OF FORMER NFL ATHLETES HAVE FILED CONCUSSION RELATED LAWSUITS AGAINST THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE…SEAU IS NOT KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN A PLAINTIFF IN ONE OF THOSE LAWSUITS. JOHN MONE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN DIEGO. (****END****) ANCHOR VOICE: JOHN MONE -------------------------VIDEO PRODUCER: JOHN MONE/BOB MCCALL---------------------------VIDEO SOURCE: AP, POOL-----------------------VIDEO APPROVAL: BOB MCCALL----------------------------VIDEO RESTRICTIONS: NONE----------------------------------MARKET EMBARGO (S): NONE--------------------------------SCRIPT/WIRE SOURCE: