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BOSTON — Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez suffered severe damage to parts of the brain that play an important role in memory, impulse control and behavior, a researcher who studied his brain said Thursday.

Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center, stressed that she could not “connect the dots” between the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the behavior of the 27-year-old who hanged himself in April while serving life in prison for murder.

But McKee said CTE had significantly impacted key parts of Hernandez’s brain, including the hippocampus — which is associated with memory — and the frontal lobe, which is involved in impulse control, judgment and behavior.
“We can say collectively, in our collective experience, that individuals with CTE — and CTE of this severity — have difficulty with impulse control, decision-making, inhibition of impulses or aggression, often emotional volatility and rage behaviors,” said McKee, who has studied hundreds of brains from football players, college athletes and even younger players, donated after their deaths.

Hernandez hanged himself in prison days after he was acquitted in the 2012 drive-by shootings of two men in Boston and just hours before his former teammates visited the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory.

Prosecutors contended he gunned the two men down after one accidentally spilled a drink on him in a nightclub — and then got a tattoo of a handgun and the words “God Forgives” to commemorate the crime.

He had been serving a life sentence without parole in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd when he killed himself.

Hernandez, who said he was innocent, did not raise CTE in his defense at either trial.

CTE, which can only be diagnosed in an autopsy, has been found in former members of the military, football players and boxers and others who suffered repeated head trauma.

BU researchers confirmed in September that Hernandez was diagnosed with Stage 3, out of 4, of the disease. But McKee had not publicly discussed her findings until a conference at the university on Thursday.

After Hernandez’s CTE diagnosis, his attorneys filed a lawsuit against the NFL and football helmet maker Riddell, accusing them of failing to warn Hernandez about the dangers of football. The lawsuit, which seeks damages for Hernandez’s young daughter, said he experienced a “chaotic and horrendous existence” because of his disease.
While the outside of Hernandez’s brain appeared normal, the inside was riddled with CTE, she said. There was evidence of previous small hemorrhages, which experts associate with head impacts, she said. Other parts, like the hippocampus, had begun to shrink and large holes were found in his brain’s membrane, McKee said.

The next youngest person whose brain they’ve examined that showed such serious CTE damage was 46 years old, McKee said.

“These are very unusual findings to see in an individual of this age,” McKee said. “We’ve never seen this in our 468 brains, except in individuals some 20 years older,” she said.

Hernandez inherited a genetic profile that may have made him more susceptible to the disease, McKee said.

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Luxury brand Aston Martin has begun selling a special Tom Brady Signature Edition car, promising a delivery for early next year.

The convertible, which features Brady’s touches on the company’s Vanquish S Volante model, is limited to just 12 total cars and will cost $359,950 each.

“We started with a blank canvas and finished with a beautiful car,” the New England Patriots quarterback said in a statement. “It’s been great to see it all come to fruition.”
The car has an ultramarine black exterior with dark leather inside and paddle shift tips made out of California poppy leather.

Brady’s signature is on the doorsill plates, and his “TB12″ logo can be seen throughout the vehicle, including on the fender and embossed on the headrests.

The Tom Brady Signature Edition Car by Aston Martin will sell for $359,950 and will be limited to just 12 convertibles.

The Tom Brady Signature Edition Car by Aston Martin will sell for $359,950 and will be limited to just 12 convertibles.

The five-time Super Bowl champion signed a deal with Aston Martin in May after more than a year of talking to the company.

With the guidance of the company’s chief creative officer, Marek Reichman, Brady personalized his car.

“When he does something on the field, he sees the result immediately,” Reichman told ESPN. “His world is very short in terms of timing. So one thing he made clear to us was that he wanted to be able to make a move and feel the immediacy of performance.”

Despite the high price tag and the fact that Aston Martin is only making 12 cars, executives at the British company feel that signing Brady was a good move.

“This car touches people through a voice in Tom that they understand,” Reichman said. “He speaks English in an American’s English, and he’s telling the world why he loves our product. It’s as simple as that.”

Brady’s deal does not include a car, so he’d have to buy one himself.