Chyna's brain being donated to research involving effects of concussions
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/26/2016
Chyna's brain will be donated to science research, according to the former wrestler and Celebrity Rehab participant's manager.
Chyna's manager Anthony Anzaldo said her brain will be utilized for research involving the effects of concussions, NBC4 Los Angeles reported Tuesday.
Dr. Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu, who was the subject of the 2015 film Concussion starring Will Smith, will reportedly conduct the research primarily centered upon the brain injury CTE -- formally known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy -- which is a progressive degenerative disease that can only be diagnosed after death.
Dr. Omalu was the first to discover and publish findings on CTE. The disease is often found in athletes, typically NFL players, who have experienced numerous concussions or blows to the head in their lifetime. Chyna would fall into this category, as she first became famous when she wrestled for the WWF in 1997. She left the organization, now called the WWE, four years later in 2001.
Anzaldo told the New York Daily News that Chyna's brain is being donated so the world can find out what made her "tick." He also revealed there was interest before Chyna's death for her to join a brain injury lawsuit against the WWE but she declined participation.
Police in Redondo Beach, CA, found Chyna -- whose real name is Joan Marie Laurer -- dead in her apartment last week after a friend discovered she was not breathing.
After wrestling for the WWE, Chyna starred on Season 4 of VH1's The Surreal Life in 2005. She later returned to the network in 2007 for The Surreal Life: Fame Games and then again in 2008 for the very first season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.