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BMX Star Dave Mirra Suffered From CTE, Doctor Says

Champion racer, who hosted MTV reality show ”The Challenge,“ died of an apparent suicide in February

Dave Mirra, the BMX champ who died of an apparent suicide at age 41 in February, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the same type of brain damage that has increasingly been found in football players, ESPN reports.

Toronto neuropathologist Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati said that the tan protein deposits in Mirra’s brain were identical to those found in football and hockey players with CTE.

“I couldn’t tell the difference,” Hazrati said. “The trauma itself defines the disease, not how you got the trauma.”

Hazrati added that the deposits were found in the frontal and temporal lobes of Mirra’s brain.

Mirra, who also hosted the MTV reality show “The Challenge,” was found in his truck in North Carolina, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“We mourn the loss today of a great friend and wonderful human being who touched the lives of so many around the world with his gift,” said Greenville mayor Allen Thomas in a statement following Mirra’s death. “He called Greenville, North Carolina home and was as humble a guy talking with kids on a street corner about bikes as he was in his element on the world stage. A young life with so much to offer was taken too soon.”

Shortly after Mirra’s death, Thomas suggested that the athlete may have suffered from CTE.

“This is a young man, I’ll call him a young man, in his early 40s, that had a pretty rugged sports career, and he took a lot of injuries in his career,” Thomas said. “And you have to give pause to think and wonder just as we hear about brain trauma in football and other sports and activities, whether that played a factor.”

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