Scientists are calling for an autopsy of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects to see if he had brain damage. Though brain damage probably didn't play a role in the bombings, it may have contributed to other personality changes, researchers say.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, may have suffered from a type of brain damage caused by repeated impacts called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, researchers say. Scientists believe CTE can cause emotional instability and impulse control.
Tsarneev was a boxer for most of his life, and family members and peers described dramatic personality changes in recent years. Still, the cold-blooded, planned nature of the attacks makes it highly unlikely that brain injury played a role in the bombs, Boston University neurology professor Robert Stern told Boston.com.
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.
Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.