Demaryius Thomas diagnosed with stage 2 CTE

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Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who died last December, was posthumously diagnosed with stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, his parents told ABC News' Katie Conway.

Thomas died because of a seizure disorder that led to cardiac arrest, which was identified after donating his brain to research, his family said. The coroner's office in Fulton County has yet to officially rule on the cause of his death, per Ken Belson of the New York Times.

"Cardiac arrest, you know, is the way that they're trying to say - what kinda happened to him," Demaryius' father, Bobby Thomas, told Conway. He added that his son suffocated.

Thomas, 33, was found unresponsive in a shower at his home in Roswell, Georgia, in December. Local police said preliminary information led them to believe that Thomas suffered from a medical issue.

He experienced violent seizures that Dr. Ann McKee believes were the result of severe injuries he incurred outside of football, including a car wreck and a fall down stone stairs.

McKee, director of Boston University's CTE Center, explained that the degenerative brain disease, which can only be diagnosed posthumously, was not a direct factor in Thomas' death.

"CTE itself does not cause death," she said. "You don't die from CTE. What CTE does is it changes your behavior and your personality."

Thomas' parents noted that he dealt with paranoia, memory loss, headaches, and mood swings in the year leading up to his death.

The four-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement from the NFL last July after 10 seasons. The 2010 first-round pick spent most of his career with the Denver Broncos, winning Super Bowl 50 with the team, and also had stints with the Houston Texans and New York Jets.

The Georgia Tech product recorded 724 receptions for 9,763 receiving yards and 63 touchdowns over his pro career.

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Demaryius Thomas diagnosed with stage 2 CTE
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