Dave Mirra’s death yesterday has raised concerns about the affects of concussions on the brain that lead to prevalent depression. Dave was found deceased in his truck yesterday after an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Concussions have been associated with depression, which has raised concerns about whether or not concussions lead Dave Mirra to taking his own life. Other professional athletes have had issues with chronic brain damage, such as Legendary San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau killed himself after suffering from chronic brain damage.
Another BMX star, Mat Hoffman, told The Los Angeles Times in 2012 that he had had 100 concussions and called it a “weekly act.”
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease affecting those who’ve suffered repeated brain trauma, often concussions that show no immediate affects. CTE has been found in individuals as young as 25, but symptoms of CTE may not show up in individuals until years after the last brain trauma. The degenerative disease gets worse with every traumatic brain injury, which is especially destructive for professional athletes that continuously experience brain trauma.
“I will say this, this is a young man – I’ll call him a young man in his early 40s – that had a pretty rugged sports career and took a lot of injuries in his career. And you have to give pause and think and wonder just as we hear about in brain trauma in football and other sports and activities, whether that played a factor,” stated Greenville mayor Allen Thomas.
CTE is especially common with athletes such as football players and boxers, but Dave Mirra experienced a lot traumatic falls while competing in events such as the X-Games and Dew Tour. He would be especially susceptible to the degenerative disease, due to these traumatic blows. The disease is associated with prevalent depression, which may have lead to the death of Dave Mirra. It was known that he was suffering from depression and that may have been caused by CTE due to his falls while competing in the sport that he loved.
“As far as the question regarding the brain injury, that’s something for the medical side of things. From the legal side of things, the cause of death is apparent. It’s a suicide,” stated police chief Mark Holtzman.