(CNN) -- Star NFL linebacker Junior Seau
-- just 43 years old when he took his own life last May -- suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative brain disease that can follow multiple hits to the head
, the National Institutes of Health said Thursday.
Questions of CTE came up immediately after Seau's body was found, with a handgun nearby, in the bedroom of his home in Oceanside, California.
CTE can result in Alzheimer's-like symptoms such as dementia, memory loss, aggression and depression
, but it can be diagnosed only after death.