Last week, WWE wrestler Chyna, whose real name was Joan Marie Laurer, died at her California apartment. Her manager revealed that her brain will be donated to study the effects of concussion on the brain.
Forensic Pathologist Will Look for Signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
The forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, will receive Chyna’s brain to look for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The movie “Concussion” was about his discovery of CTE and how it was related to concussions -– especially sports concussions.
Chyna’s manager does not believe the 46-year-old woman suffered from the disease. He believes that when toxicology results become available, it will show that she died due to taking the tranquilizer, Valium, and the prescription sleeping pill, Ambien. He said that Chyna had suffered from insomnia all of her life, as well as a problem with binge drinking. However, he noted that it had been several weeks since she had a drink. There wasn’t any alcohol found in her apartment when she died.
Her manager believes that events in the wrestler’s life had caused her to self-medicate. She had been attending a group for women’s domestic violence, started seeing a psychiatrist and went to her estranged father’s grave. He said, “A lot was going on in her life emotionally. But she wasn’t depressed; it was just a lot to deal with.”
CTE Linked to Massive Numbers of NFL Concussions
Dr. Bennet Omalu found that CTE is caused by concussions, specifically when the brain is subjected repeatedly to concussions. The finding helped prompt the multiple claims of injury against the National Football League in a class action lawsuit. Some of the players have opted out of the class action in order to pursue their claims in mass tort litigation.
Will Chyna’s Brain Show Signs of the Disease?
Until Dr. Bennet Omalu is able to study Chyna’s brain, it will not be known if she suffered from CTE. The disease can only be diagnosed after death. If you or a loved one suffer from ongoing medical issues that you believe are related to repeated concussions or even CTE, an attorney can help determine your next legal steps.
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