Will we learn anything from the brain of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock?


The brain that sat in the skull of the Las Vegas shooter [Stephen Paddock] as he planned out his attack, which killed 59 people and injured many more on October 1, was likely damaged when he shot himself in the mouth at the end of the ordeal. Still, it was shipped, at the direction of the Las Vegas coroner’s office, to doctor Hannes Vogel at Stanford for a neuropathological examination shortly thereafter.

While there is ongoing controversy when it comes to whether a mental aberrance could explain the shooter’s behavior—of which some may see this as a continuation—there is a longer history of these investigations at play.


One abnormality the team may be looking for, according to Karen Weidenheim, a neuropathologist at Montefiore medical center, is a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases called tauopathies. These diseases are caused by a tangled buildup of plaques made of “tau” protein in the brain. The plaques can cause the fronto-temporal lobe to deteriorate, which can affect the ability to make decisions and  sometimes lead to abnormal and occasionally violent behavior.

“It’s not that you’re gonna find something that’s gonna solve the whole mystery,” Leestma said. “You’re probably not. You’re likely going to raise more questions than answers.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Las Vegas Shooting: Will Slicing Open Stephen Paddock’s Brain Explain Why He Gunned Down 59 People?

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