Benoit's Brain Showed Severe Damage From Multiple Concussions, Doctor and Dad Say

Perhaps most disturbing, a person doesn't need to have sustained dozens of concussions to see problems later in life.

"Our research shows that three concussions may be the threshold for lasting damage," Bailes said.

This kind of brain damage isn't new to athletes, but doctors and researchers are starting to understand it better. As far back as the 1920s, career boxers were diagnosed with "punch drunk syndrome," which is now known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Bailes said that while he can't be certain that the brain damage caused Benoit's actions, he believes it is the leading cause.

"We think these changes are not due to steroids," Bailes said. "That has never really been studied, but it's never been in the medical literature or any research that shows steroids do this to the brain. These changes [in the brain] were found in the 1920s before steroids were even invented."

For Michael Benoit and the family, these test results provide a small amount of comfort.

"Bascially, once the findings came out and I had the opportunity to talk to the doctors, we certainly had an understanding of what could have contributed to the tragedy that took place that day," Michael said.

The message Michael would like Benoit's surviving children to take away is that "their dad loved [them] dearly and what happened wasn't his fault."

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