Chyna’s brain might be studied in the name of science for the benefit of future athletes. Dr. Bennet Omalu is interested in studying the effects her wrestling career had on her body. Dr. Omalu was portrayed by actor Will Smith in the film Concussion, which chronicles his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) by examining professional football players and taking those findings to the NFL.
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) April 23, 2016
Chyna’s manager, Anthony Anzaldo, is in the process of getting permission from the former wrestler’s family after Dr. Omalu reached out to him with the hopes of studying Chyna’s brain.
“When she died, they called me again and asked, ‘Can we have her brain.’ My hope is that we can do it. I’m in the process of getting the permission to speak on behalf of family to tell the coroner it’s okay to release it.”
Anzaldo added, “We want to donate her brain. We want to know what made Chyna tick.”
Before Chyna died, lawyers had reached out to her to see if she would join a brain injury lawsuit against the WWE, according to Anzaldo. He said she had no desire to participate in the lawsuit itself but was interested in the research aspect.
Chyna didn’t talk about suffering concussions while with the WWE, but she makes an interesting candidate for Dr. Omalu to study the effects on her brain from the physical injuries she suffered as well as her history of domestic violence, Uproxx reports.
“I’ve been told (Dr. Omalu) is calling the medical examiner to let them know the plan, so they’ll be cautious with her brain,” Anzaldo said.
Chyna, 45-years-old, was found dead in her home in Redondo Beach, California, by Anzaldo on April 21. He said she was in bed with two bottles of prescription medication near her. One was Ambien and the other was an anti-anxiety medicine similar to Xanax, according to TMZ.
“There was nothing illegal. No alcohol. It was just those two prescriptions she was legally taking. I saw no indication of foul play, no vomit, no blood. She was just lying there peacefully. Of course she’s had issues and posted things (online), but I just don’t think it was intentional.”
What could studying Chyna’s brain accomplish for future athletes? If her brain shows signs of CTE, it could shed new light on the disease, which could in turn assist in the treatment of athletes who have CTE or even prevention.
— With Spandex (@WithSpandex) April 23, 2016
According to Boston University, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a “progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.”
It was believed that CTE only affected boxers, but recent studies have shown the disease is also found in professional football players and other athletes who have suffered repetitive brain trauma. Memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and eventually progressive dementia are the side effects of CTE.
TMZ reports another famous wrestler would be open to donating his brain for study after he dies. John Cena was leaving a steakhouse in Beverly Hills when he was asked about donating his brain to groups who study brain injuries to athletes.
Cena answered, “If I could do something after I exist to help the existence of mankind to come, yeah I think I might.”
It’s unclear at this time if or when Chyna’s brain is to be studied.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/AP, File]