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Title The effects of repetitive head impacts on neuroimaging and biomarkers in college athletes
URL
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree MS
Discipline/Department Physician Assistant Program
Degree Level masters
University/Publisher Boston University
Abstract Football safety has increased over time, in part due to improvements in equipment and body mechanics, but there are still inherent risks involved, including exposure to repetitive head impacts (RHI). Significant head impacts can result in a constellation of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and amnesia, which typically assist in the diagnosis of concussion. However, it has been shown that subconcussive impacts may result in microstructural changes and physiological alterations in the brain. This is particularly concerning because athletes may be undergoing changes in the brain in the absence of outwardly visible symptoms. Poorer neurologic outcomes later in life have been associated with cumulative exposure rather than number of diagnosed concussions. Accelerometers installed in helmets have shown that college football players may receive up to 1,850 head impacts throughout the course of one season. The concussion rate is obviously much lower, indicating there are a high number of head impacts per diagnosed concussion. Axons are especially susceptible to damage from RHI because of their extension throughout the nervous system. The subtle changes thought to result from RHI are not easy to measure, but several modalities have been proposed. These include diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), plasma tau protein, and King-Devick testing. The proposed study will look to quantify cumulative head impact exposure in college football players prior to the start of a season and see if this has any impact on the variables. They will then participate in one season of football wearing helmet accelerometers to measure the number of head impacts sustained. Changes in the variables will be compared to non-contact sport college athletes. Data will be analyzed to determine if number of head impacts correlates with changes in variables and if prior head impact exposure has any effect on these changes. Data obtained from this study will have significant implications in the field of head injury. It may strengthen the use of several markers of brain injury that could be utilized in the future. Additionally, the effects of cumulative head impact exposure and one season of head impacts will be thoroughly examined. This information can be provided to trainers, coaches, and athletes to further improve football safety.
Subjects/Keywords Neurosciences; Accelerometer; Chronic traumatic encephalopathy; Concussion; Repetitive head impacts; Traumatic brain injury; Tau protein
Language en
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:2144/19183
Repository bu
Date Indexed 2019-12-30
Issued Date 2016-01-01 00:00:00

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…N-methyl-D-aspartate PET……………………………………………..…………..Positron emission tomography RHI……………………………………………….……………….Repetitive head impacts TBI………………………………………………….………………Traumatic brain injury   ix     INTRODUCTION Background It has been estimated…

…individual that sustains a brain injury. Recent studies have demonstrated an increase in tau in the plasma of athletes exposed to repetitive head impacts, including Olympic boxers and concussed ice hockey players,15,16 which is a promising biomarker that…

…abnormalities in those exposed to repetitive head impacts, such as cavum septum pellucidum, enlargement of the ventricles, and atrophy of the cerebral cortex.19 However, this method is ineffective at visualizing diffuse axonal injury. Several forms of MRI may be…

…useful in looking at brain injury, including high-resolution T1-weighted volumetric MRI and functional MRI, both of which have been employed in studies looking at the effects of repetitive head impacts.3,24,26 Diffusion tensor imaging is a more sensitive…

repetitive head impacts and others have studied accelerometer data from the helmets of football players. Plasma Tau Protein A 2013 study performed by Neselius and colleagues examined the relationship of serum biomarkers in 30 Olympic boxers as compared to 25…

…use of non-athlete controls raises the question of whether changes in DTI were due to physical exertion rather than repetitive head impacts. Davenport and colleagues conducted a study with many similarities to the proposed study. They enrolled 24 high…

…study are directly related to repetitive head impacts. Davenport and colleagues further went on to use the data acquired and publish another study looking at changes in diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI).36 DKI is an expansion of DTI that…

repetitive head impacts. This is a useful comparison study because soccer heading is similar in biomechanics to the linear head impacts incurred by offensive and defensive linemen, although football players wear helmets whereas soccer players do not. Another…

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