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Tests show former Minnesota-Duluth hockey star suffered from CTE

April 01, 2019 10:08 PM

Former University of Minnesota-Duluth hockey player Andrew Carroll had Stage One Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative brain disease, his family says.

The disease was found after his death in early 2018, according to family members.

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Carroll was a captain for the Bulldogs "all four years" that he played in the mid-2000s.

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"You see a young guy, played hockey, well-liked, relationships with everybody, and then all of sudden, like that, … takes his life in a tragic way...there's a lot of disconnect," Andrew's brother Chris Carroll said.

In search of answers, the Carrolls sent Andrew's brain to Boston University in January 2018 to see if he suffered from CTE. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS was granted rare access inside the lab to observe research.

RELATED: Family of former hockey star donate their son's brain to CTE research

Researchers say CTE is linked with symptoms that include memory loss, confusion, erratic behavior and personality changes – including depression and suicidal thoughts.

The Carroll family said BU provided them with the CTE results last week. Right now, the disease can only be diagnosed after death.

"I don't know if there's an emotion in our vocabulary that can articulate or capture how you feel," Chris Carroll said.

Hockey has been a driving force in the Carroll family. Chris Carroll is currently the head coach at Blaine High School and has brought teams to the state high school tournament. 

His brother's CTE diagnosis is still very fresh, but Chris said he’s looking differently at the game.

“Knowing it will certainly impact how you see the game moving forward," he said. “In your mind and my heart right now, it will certainly change things."

The family hopes Andrew’s death can help raise awareness and promote research and possible prevention of the disease.
    
"I think it would be honoring to my brother for sure," Chris Carroll said.

RELATED: Family of late Minnesota hockey star waiting for results from CTE Lab

CTE has been found in the brains of former NHL players like Jeff Parker and Derek Boogaard, other professional athletes and non-professional athletes as well.

RELATED: Kyle's Story: Minnesota family raising awareness about CTE

To find out more about the disease and resources available, click here.

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Eric Chaloux

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