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Danny Frawley was suffering from brain disease when he died

Article image for Danny Frawley was suffering from brain disease when he died

AFL legend Danny Frawley was suffering from a brain disorder — caused by repeated head knocks — at the time of his death.

An analysis of the St Kilda champion’s brain has revealed he was suffering from stage two chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when his car struck a tree near Ballan in September last year.

The Victorian coroner is examining the AFL legend’s death.

CTE can only be diagnosed after death.

Fellow football great Polly Farmer also suffered from the neurological disorder.

Neurophysiologist Dr Alan Pearce said CTE is similar to Alzheimer’s, but presents with one key difference.

“CTE starts from outside of the brain and spreads, where as Alzheimer’s starts from a deep part of the brain and then spreads out,” he told Ross and Russel.

Dr Pearce said CTE can cause irritability, anger issues, memory problems, impulsiveness and movement disorders.

Frawley’s wife Anita told the Herald Sun, she hopes the finding will encourage more research into the long-term effects of concussions in contact sports and prevent other families from enduring the same heartbreak.

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Image: Scott Barbour / Getty