WWE superstar Chyna's brain to be donated to science for CTE study

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Former WWE Star 'Chyna' Dies at 45

Chyna's brain will be donated to science for the study of CTE following the former WWE Superstar's death on Thursday.

The 45-year-old wrestler's manager Anthony Anzaldo said Dr. Bennet Omalu reached out following Chyna's death after having previously spoken to the wrestler about studying the effects of her career on her body. Anzaldo said he's in the process of getting permission from her family.

"When she died, they called me again and asked, 'Can we have her brain,'" Anzaldo told the New York Daily News. "My hope is that we can do it."

Joanie Laurer, Chyna
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WWE superstar Chyna's brain to be donated to science for CTE study
FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2003 file photo, Joanie Laurer, former pro wrestler known as Chyna, flexes her bicep as she arrives at the 31st annual American Music Awards, in Los Angeles. Chyna, the WWE star who became one of the best known and most popular female professional wrestlers in history in the late 1990s, has died at age 45. Los Angeles County coronerâs Lt. Larry Dietz says Chyna, whose real name is Joan Marie Laurer, was found dead in Redondo Beach on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
Photo by: Lee Roth STAR MAX, Inc. - copyright 2002 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 12/9/02 Joanie Laurer at the Billboard Music Awards. (Las Vegas, Nevada) (Star Max via AP Images)
Former professional wrestler and actress Joanie Laurer, who wrestled under the name "Chyna", arrives for the trailer screening of her new movie "Illegal Aliens", Wednesday, March 1, 2006, in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
Joanie Laurer aka Chyna Doll arrives at the "Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav" in Burbank, Calif. on Sunday, July 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Wrestler JOANIE LAURER (CHYNNA) & fiancŽ SHAWN WALDMAN at the 2002 Fox Billboard Bash in Las Vegas. The party is the pre-event for the Billboard Music Awards. Credit RTNStewart / MediaPunch/IPX
Chyna pictured at the DVD release party for "Backdoor into Chyna" at Rick's Cabaret New York on November 10, 2011 ©RTStevens / MediaPunch/IPX
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 20: Chyna attends Exxxotica Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center on May 20, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. © mpi04 / Media Punch Inc../IPX
Photo by: PW/STAR MAX/IPx 11/28/01 Joanie Laurer (formerly known as Chynna for the WWF) entertains the audience as Mistress Dominatrix, at the Exotic Erotic Ball. (Webster Hall, NYC)
Photo by: LR/STAR MAX/IPx 11/16/03 Joanie Laurer at the 31st Annual American Music Awards. (Los Angeles, CA)
Photo by: GLX/STAR MAX/IPx 1/9/05 Joanie Laurer at the 31st Annual People's Choice Awards. (Pasadena, CA)
Photo by: PW/STAR MAX/IPx 11/26/01 Joanie Laurer (Chynna) at Virgin Mega Store to promote her spread in Playboy magazine. (NYC)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 02: TV personality Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer arrives at the 2007 Fox Reality Channel Really Awards held at Boulevard 3 on October 2, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Fox)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 24: TV Personality Chyna (Joanie Laurer) arrives at the Fox Reality Channel's 'Really Awards' held at Avalon Hollywood on September 24, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: Former Pro wrestler/actress Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer visits SiriusXM Studios on June 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 01: Personality Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer and actor Greg Evigan on day 2 of The Hollywood Show held at The Westin Hotel LAX on August 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

"We want to donate her brain. We want to know what made Chyna tick," he said.

Dr. Omalu was recently portrayed by Will Smith in the highly acclaimed film "Concussion," which details his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the presentation of his findings to the NFL.

Chyna, whose real name was Joanie Laurer, was found dead in her home in Redondo Beach, California, on Thursday by Anzaldo. The manager said she was in bed near two prescription bottles — one for Ambien and one for an anti-anxiety medication.

"There was nothing illegal. No alcohol. It was just those two prescriptions she was legally taking," Anzaldo said. "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."

A message on Chyna's official Facebook page confirmed the wrestler's death on Thursday, telling fans: "It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world has passed away. She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her."

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