The Ohio State football player who killed himself last season was found by a neuropathologist to have suffered from concussions but did not show evidence of chronic brain damage, according to a report released on Friday.
Kosta Karageorge, a top-rated wrestler and a walk-on football player, was found dead in a dumpster from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Columbus, Ohio on November 30, four days after he was reported missing.
Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz waited for neuropathology reports about Karageorge's brain before reaffirming in a final report issued on Friday that he died from a gunshot to the head.
Neuropathologist Dr Norman Lehman from Ohio State University said there was evidence of prior concussive injury, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
However, the 22-year-old Karageorge was not found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition which results from continuous head trauma. CTE can only be diagnosed after death and symptoms include depression, confusion and anger issues, according to Cleveland.com.
In January, Ortiz had ruled the athlete's death a suicide.
Investigators concluded that Karageorge and his girlfriend broke up around the time he disappeared on November 26. The senior defensive tackle was last been seen at his apartment in Columbus, when his roommates said he left to go on a walk.
Texts Karageorge later sent to his mother said concussions were affecting his mind and he hoped he was not an "embarrassment."
She told police she received a text from her son around 1.30am on that said: "I am sorry if I am an embarrassment but these concussions have my head all f***ed up."
Karageorge's mother told police he had had several concussions and a few spells of extreme confusion.
His body was discovered not far from his campus-area apartment by a woman and her son apparently were looking for items in the dumpster when they found the body.
Dr. Tom McAllister, chairman of psychiatry at Indiana University, who has studied concussions in college athletes, said that brain injuries seem to increase the likelihood of depression.
If the person had depression or an anxiety disorder in the past, 'it often is the case that the concussion seems to exacerbate it,' he said. "These injuries don't occur in a vacuum. People bring their own past history...into the injury."