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The brain of professional bull rider and Merritt, B.C. native Ty Pozzobon showed signs of neuropathologic changes diagnostic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), confirmed the University of Washington School of Medicine Neuropathology Core on Tuesday.
CTE is a degenerative brain disease linked to the sort of repeated head traumas common in contact sports and has been proven to lead to severe depression, aggression, and early dementia.
After dying from suicide in January, the family of the 25-year-old professional bull rider suspected that his death was the result of repeated head injuries and concussions sustained during his rodeo career.
The Pozzobon family has released this statement:
The Pozzobon Family would like to thank the team at the University of Washington School of Medicine for their time and care during this process. The results that they have provided can only help others and that is the family’s wish and goal. Ty’s passing has brought so much sorrow and pain to all, we hope everyone, specifically athletes understand that we need to educate each other with regards to head injuries, both short and long-term impacts. Ty’s family believes not to stop doing what you are
passionate about but do it in a smarter way, and listen to both what the medical professionals tell you and what your body and mind are telling you.
Ty Pozzobon is the first confirmed case of CTE in a professional bull rider.