- Former NFL star Demaryius Thomas died suddenly in December of last year at age 33.
- Examiners from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office reported he died of complications related to a seizure disorder.
- Experts from Boston University said that Thomas had stage 2 CTE, likely caused by his time in the NFL.
Nearly eight months after the sudden death of former NFL star Demaryius Thomas, medical examiners have revealed the athlete’s cause of death.
According to autopsy reports from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office obtained by The Denver Post, the Denver Broncos wide receiver died of complications related to a seizure disorder.
Thomas was found dead in his home in Roswell, Georgia, on Dec. 9 of last year, at the age of 33, only months after retiring from the NFL. His family said his death was due to what they described as a seizure.
In July, Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University, the neuropathologist who studied Thomas’s brain, said the athlete had stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy and seizures stemming from a 2019 car crash.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, is a common brain condition often found in NFL athletes who experience repeated traumatic blows to the head. Friends and family said Thomas experienced many symptoms of CTE in his final year of life, including memory loss, increasingly erratic behavior, and paranoia.
McKee told Insider’s Jake Johnson last month that there hasn’t been enough action taken by major-league sports teams to protect players.
“There have been changes. The changes have not been enough,” she said.
Medical examiners from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office countered claims made by Boston University that Thomas’s death was connected to injuries from his time in the NFL, and cited other factors related to his seizure disorder.
“It is unknown whether Mr. Thomas’ seizure disorder is a result of natural causes or a sequela of head impacts incurred during his career as a professional football player …” Karen Sullivan, the examiner from Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office, wrote in the report obtained by the Denver Post. “Different physiologic events may contribute to sudden death in individuals with a seizure disorder.”