White Matter Changes and Confrontation Naming in Retired Aging NFL Athletes


Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), we assessed the relationship of white matter integrity and performance on the Boston Naming Test (BNT) in a group of retired professional football players and a control group. We examined correlations between fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) with BNT T-scores in an unbiased voxel-wise analysis processed with tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). We also analyzed the DTI data by grouping voxels together as white matter tracts and testing each tract’s association with BNT T-scores. Significant voxel-wise correlations between FA and BNT performance were only seen in the retired football players (p < 0.02). Two tracts had mean FA values that significantly correlated with BNT performance: forceps minor and forceps major. White matter integrity, as measured by DTI, is important for distributed cognitive processes and correlates with confrontation naming performance in athletes exposed to concussive and subconcussive head injuries, but not in controls without such exposure. 


Autor / Fonte:Jeremy F Strain, Nyaz Didehbani, Jeffrey Spence, Heather Conover, Elizabeth Bartz, Sethesh Mansinghani, Myrtle K Jeroudi, Neena K Rao, Lindy M Fields, Michael A Kraut, C Munro Cullum, John Hart, Kyle B Womack Journal of Neurotrauma 2016 June 13
Link: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/neu.2016.4446