BMX biker Dave Mirra suffered from CTE before suicide
The late BMX biker Dave Mirra suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
University of Toronto neuropathologist Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati confirmed the diagnosis to CNN, adding the star’s brain, which was similar to those of professional football and hockey players who were consistently struck in the head, showed protein deposits called tau.
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Mirra is the first extreme sports athlete to be diagnosed with the disease.
CTE can lead to symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s disease in addition to mood swings and depression.
Mirra’s wife told the site in a statement, “We would like to thank our family, friends and the overwhelming number of Dave’s fans who have supported us during this difficult time … We ask for your continued support in honoring Dave’s legacy and for your patience as we plan to create a platform for CTE awareness and research.”
Mirra died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in February in North Carolina. He was 41.
It was later reported he suffered from depression and felt lost after retiring in 2011.