Former football standout for the Chargers and most recently Patriots, Junior Seau had no alcohol or ‘illicit’ drugs in his system when he took his own life just a few months back. Toxicology reports were returned clean when an autopsy was performed and it also showed no sign of brain damage according to the autopsy and toxicology reports released Monday by the San Diego County medical examiner. This is another reminder that speculation, is just that and nothing more.
The 6-foot, 3-inch, 275-pound Seau, a star at Oceanside High, USC and the NFL, was takingprescription medicines for orthopedic problems and insomnia, and was under the care of Chargersphysician Dr. David Chao, according to the documents. The football star drank only “socially [and] did not smoke, and there was no history of illicit drug use,” according to the report.
Seau “had an unremarkable medical history” and had shown no “suicidal ideation or confirmed suicide attempt,” Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Nelson wrote.
At the request of the Seau family, brain tissue was sent to the National Institutes of Health for more advanced investigation. Brain damage among football players due to concussions has become a controversial issue in the National Football League, where Seau was a star for the San Diego Chargers and other teams.
Nothing in the autopsy report lists concussions or brain damage as related or contributory to the manner or cause of death. Nor is there anything that suggests the mood changes and irritability often associated with concussions and brain damage.
In its description of the central nervous system, Nelson wrote that features of the brain were symmetrical, showed no signs of injury or lesions, and that the arteries at the base of the brain “have no atherosclerotic changes or aneurysms.”
The autopsy and toxicology results were released after San Diego news agencies requested them as public documents. Officials at the county medical examiner’s office, citing respect for the Seau family, declined to discuss the findings.
According to TMZ, a small amount of Zolpidem (aka ambien) and Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory) were detected … but the M.E. says test results were “consistent with therapeutic use.”