Brain structure and function associated with a history of sport concussion: a multi-modal MRI study


There is growing concern about the potential long-term consequences of sport concussion for young, currently active athletes. However, there remains limited information about brain abnormalities associated with a history of concussion and how they relate to clinical factors. In this study, advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was used to comprehensively describe abnormalities in brain structure and function associated with a history of sport concussion. 43 athletes (21 male, 22 female) were recruited from inter-university teams at the beginning of the season, including 21 with a history of concussion and 22 without prior concussion; both groups also contained a balanced sample of contact and non-contact sports. Multi-modal MRI was used to evaluate abnormalities in brain structure and function. Athletes with a history of concussion showed frontal decreases in brain volume and blood flow; however, they also demonstrated increased posterior cortical volume and elevated markers of white matter microstructure. A greater number of prior concussions was associated with more extensive decreases in cerebral blood flow and insular volume, whereas recovery time from most recent concussion was correlated with reduced fronto-temporal volume. White matter showed limited correlations with clinical factors, predominantly in the anterior corona radiata. This study provides the first evidence of the long-term effects of concussion on grey matter volume, blood flow and white matter microstructure within a single athlete cohort. This was examined for a mixture of male and female athletes in both contact and non-contact sports, demonstrating the relevance of these findings for the overall sporting community. 


Autor / Fonte:Nathan Churchill, Michael Hutchison, Doug Richards, General Leung, Simon Graham, Tom A Schweizer Journal of Neurotrauma 2016 June 1