Dr. Ann McKee, who examined Phillip’s brain, diagnosed him with Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
CTE is a degenerative disease linked to head trauma and concussions that has been shown to cause a range of symptoms, including violent mood swings and memory loss.
On April 7, Phillip Adams killed Rock Hill physician Robert Lesslie, his wife, Barbara, two of their grandchildren, and two HVAC technicians, James Lewis and Robert Shook, who were working at their residence.
Police later found Phillip with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Dr. McKee does not believe Phillip “snapped” that day.
There were inklings that he was developing clear behavioral and cognitive issues.
I don’t think he snapped. It appeared to be a cumulative progressive impairment.
He was getting increasingly paranoid, he was having increasing difficulties with his memory, and he was very likely having more and more impulsive behaviors.
It may not have been recognized, but I doubt that this was entirely out of the blue.
McKee, who directs the CTE Center at Boston University said most NFL players diagnosed with the disease after dying in their 20s and 30s typically have Stage 2.
But, she said Phillip’s CTE diagnosis was different because it was “usually severe” in both of his frontal lobes.
The Adams family said in a statement that they were not surprised by the diagnosis, but they were shocked by the severity of it.
They also called out the NFL for failing to help Phillip.
After going through medical records from his football career, we do know that he was desperately seeking help from the NFL but was denied all claims due to his inability to remember things and to handle seemingly simple tasks, such as traveling hours away to see doctors and going through extensive evaluations.
In a statement, the Lesslie family said they appreciated the diagnosis.
Even in the midst of crushing heartbreak, we are finding some comfort in the CTE results and the explanation they provide for the irrational behaviors pertaining to this tragedy.
Watch the “CBS This Morning” coverage below.
This is such a sad situation on so many levels.
My prayers to everyone impacted by this tragedy.