The medical examiner's report follows the Concussion Legacy Foundation release stating that Jackson was diagnosed with Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the progressive brain disease associated with repeated head trauma.
On Feb. 15, Jackson was found dead at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, Florida after the authorities conducted a welfare check. Five days earlier, he had been reported missing by his family.
At the time of his passing, no cause of death was released.
According to the autopsy report, Jackson suffered from “alcoholic cardiomyopathy, hepatic steatosis and fibrosis, esophageal varices, ascites, jaundice, remote pancreatitis, renal failure, and hyponatremia dehydration, cardiovascular disease, and intoxication by ethyl alcohol.” Additionally, his blood alcohol content was 0.28%.
Before his death, Jackson was suffering from depression, progressive memory loss, mood swings, paranoia, and extreme social isolation, which are all signs of CTE. Experts say that his case was a “mild” form of the disease, which is associated with repeated hits to the head in NFL players.
Jackson’s wife, Lindsey, said he began to display these symptoms more and more during and after the 2016 NFL season.
“I think the message is, if you played for a long time and you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s very likely that this is what it is,” she said. “I didn’t know that; Vincent didn’t know that. We thought it was just concussions, and we’d love for people to realize it’s more than that.
The autopsy report also confirmed that Jackson was diagnosed with Stage 2 CTE. After his death, his family donated his brain to Boston University's CTE Center for research.
CTE can only be diagnosed through a special autopsy that’s done posthumously.
Jackson was a 1,000-yard receiver six times in his 12-year NFL career, finishing with 540 catches, 9,080 receiving yards, 57 touchdowns, and made three trips to the Pro Bowl.
Off the field, he co-founded the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation with Lindsey to assist military families, and they authored three children's books together.
In 2016, Jackson graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in business management and owned five restaurants in Tampa, Las Vegas, and San Diego.