Bull rider Ty Pozzobon’s donated brain reveals chronic traumatic brain disease

UW Medicine researchers say it’s the first confirmed case of CTE in professional bull riding

Professional bull rider Ty Pozzobon had many friends and fans in the Williams Lake rodeo and ranching communities.

Professional bull rider Ty Pozzobon had many friends and fans in the Williams Lake rodeo and ranching communities.

Professional bull rider Ty Pozzobon’s donated brain has revealed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to researchers from the University of Washington.

It is the first confirmed case of a professional bull rider with CTE, a disease known to affect boxers, football players, and other athletes who sustain numerous concussions.

Pozzobon’s brain was donated to traumatic brain injury research earlier this year, after he died by suicide on January 9.

Following his death, a family spokesperson said 25-year-old Pozzobon had suffered from depression, anxiety and the effects of a number of concussions he had sustained in recent years as a bull rider.

Pozzobon’s family arranged to have his brain donated to the University of Washington School of Medicine Neuropathology Core, a medical research group that works on traumatic brain injuries and concussions. Leanne Pozzobon, Ty’s mother, said at the time that, “It’s important that people know about the implications of head injuries as a result of concussions.”

Those implications are becoming clearer now, following the study of Pozzobon’s brain.

On Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 10), UW Medicine researchers Dr. C. Dirk Keene and Dr. Christine MacDonald announced they had concluded that Pozzobon had “neuropathologic changes diagnostic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),” making Pozzobon the first confirmed case of CTE in a professional bull rider.

CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in people who have a history of repetitive brain trauma. According to the CTE Centre, a research facility based out of Boston University, symptoms of CTE can include memory loss, depression, anxiety and “suicidality.”

Evidence of chronic, widespread injury was also discovered in Pozzobon’s brain, which was consistent with the traumatic brain injury found during an MRI that he had before his death.

In a statement released Tuesday, Pozzobon’s family said they wished to thank 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,” the statement reads.

The family said they did not want people to stop doing what they are passionate about, but that they wanted people to “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.”

According to UW Medicine, Pozzobon’s brain tissue “will contribute to numerous studies aimed at better understanding the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in order to develop better diagnostic tests and new treatments.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Angie Mindus photos - Williams Lake Tribune)
PHOTOS: Graduates line Western Avenue for 2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade

Community members waited in line in their vehicles to congratulate grads

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Placing hope for the future in our children and their children

I am trying to be sure to include that focus as part of an evolving work/life balance

Graduate Belle Riding is congratulated by Lake City Secondary School learning support teacher Gail Gardner as she makes her way across the stage to receive her diploma. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
2021 Lake City Secondary School grads take centre stage at Williams Lake campus ceremonies

Ceremonies took place over two days, with COVID-19 restrictions in place for second year in a row

BGC Williams Lake Sprockids participants get ready to hit the trails on Fox Mountain May 27 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sprockids mountain biking program at BGC Williams Lake provides positive, outdoor outlet for youth

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read