YORK COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Former NFL player Phillip Adams, who killed six people and then himself in York County and has now been diagnosed with CTE, “fell through the cracks” in getting help from the NFL, according to an expert in the degenerative brain disease.

That doctor studied Adams’ brain after the mass killing in York County this past April.

Adams’ family and the doctor who studied his brain said he was desperately seeking help from the NFL, but that CTE most likely kept him from being able to remember things and handle even simple tasks like making medical appointments and filling out paperwork.              

“I don’t think he snapped, it appeared to be a cumulative, progressive impairment,” said Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University.

Dr. McKee studied Phillip Adams’ brain trying to make sense of a senseless mass murder.

Why did the former NFL player kill a family he may not have even known, Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife Barbara, and their two grandkids, along with two repairmen, James Lewis and Robert Shook?

“He (Adams) was getting increasingly paranoid, he was having increasing difficulty with his memory, he was very likely having more impulsive behaviors,” said Dr. McKee.

Dr. McKee says Adams was suffering from Stage II CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and that his 20-year-football career gave rise to the degenerative brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head.

“He tried to get help, but this is a man who’s not thinking clearly, he’s having problems with planning and organization, he’s the least able to actually get help,” said Dr. McKee.

His family told researchers he endured several concussions while playing football and complained of excruciating pain, memory issues, and difficulty sleeping.

This is part of a statement from Adams’ family read during a news conference Tuesday:

“After going through medical records from his football career, we do know that he was desperately seeking help from the NFL, but was denied all claims due to his inability to remember things and to handle seemingly simple tasks.”

Dr. McKee says Adams had severe frontal lobe damage.

That’s the area of the brain that when damaged is associated with violent, explosive, or impulsive behavior.

“If they don’t have an advocate that’s recognizing the issues in these individuals, they fall through the cracks and that I think is what happened for Mr. Phillips,” said Dr. McKee.

Dr. Mckee says the NFL needs to take more action long after players have left the field.

“I would like a comprehensive care package evaluation system offered by the NFL for these ex-players that would give them the kind of care and management that they deserve.”

The coroner says Adams had prescription amphetamines and Kratom, which can be purchased without a prescription, in his system, when she died, and she does not know what role, if any, the drugs played in the mass murder.

The sheriff says the FBI is currently analyzing what he describes as ”incoherent writings” from Adams in notebooks and that investigators found around 20 guns at Adams’ home following the murders.

Dr. McKee says the frontal lobe damage in Adams’ brain is similar in severity to that of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, who was also diagnosed with CTE.

Hernandez was convicted of murder and killed himself in prison in 2017.

“We’ve seen this behavior, we’ve even seen homicidal behavior in individuals diagnosed with CTE, it’s difficult to say that it alone resulted in these behaviors because usually, it’s a complicated issue with many other factors, but certainly we have seen this behavior and it is in fact not what I would consider unusual in this disease,” said Dr. McKee.