Neuropathologists Conclude BMX Legend Dave Mirra Suffered from CTE
BMX legend Dave Mirra, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in February, was suffering from CTE.
Mirra’s family had noted that he had been subject to violent mood swings in the months before his death, so they decided to have his brain tested for CTE, the neurodegenerative disease found in an increasing number of former football players, which often leads to dementia, memory loss, and depression. Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati, a University of Toronto neuropathologist, found irrefutable signs of CTE, a diagnosis which was confirmed by several other top neuropathologists in the U.S. and Canada.
Hazrati said the damage to Mirra’s brain was indistinguishable from that found in football players.
“I couldn’t tell the difference,” she said. “The trauma itself defines the disease, not how you got the trauma.”
Mirra, who was 41 when he died, famously suffered a fractured skull when he was struck by a car at the age of 19. Then he endured countless concussions throughout his historic BMX career.
Mirra’s widow, Lauren, detailed the personality changes she noticed in her husband to ESPN the Magazine. She said she hopes her husband’s story can help others avoid a similar fate.
“This is the beginning of bringing awareness,” she said. “It would be amazing if this is something we can detect in life one day. If we can detect it, prevent it, stop it, let’s do all of the above.”
Hat Tip – [ESPN]