Hockey Concussion Education Project, Part 3. White matter microstructure in ice hockey players with a history of concussion: a diffusion tensor imaging study
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Johnson, Andrew M.
Holmes, Jeffrey D.
Forwell, Lorie A.
Skopelja, Elaine N.
Echlin, Paul S.
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CitationSasaki, Takeshi, Ofer Pasternak, Michael Mayinger, Marc Muehlmann, Peter Savadjiev, Sylvain Bouix, Marek Kubicki, et al. 2014. “Hockey Concussion Education Project, Part 3. White Matter Microstructure in Ice Hockey Players with a History of Concussion: a Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study.” Journal of Neurosurgery 120 (4) (April): 882–890. doi:10.3171/2013.12.jns132092.
AbstractObject—The aim of this study was to examine the brain’s white matter microstructure using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in ice hockey players with a history of clinically symptomatic concussion compared to those players without a history of concussion. Methods—Sixteen players with a history of concussion (Concussed Group; mean age: 21.7 ± 1.5 years; 6 female) and eighteen players without a history of concussion (Non-Concussed Group; mean age: 21.3 ± 1.8 years, 10 female) underwent 3T DTI at the end of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports ice hockey season 2011–2012. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to test for group differences in fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD), and trace. Cognitive evaluation was performed using the Immediate PostConcussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) and the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-2 (SCAT2). Results—TBSS revealed a significant increase in FA and AD, and a significant decrease in RD and trace in several brain regions in the Concussed group, compared with the Non-concussed group (p < 0.05). The regions with increased FA and decreased RD and trace included the right posterior limb of the internal capsule, the right corona radiata, and the right temporal lobe. Increased AD was observed in a small area in the left corona radiata. DTI measures neither correlated with the ImPACT nor SCAT2. Conclusion—The results of the current study indicate that a history of concussion may result in alterations of the brain’s white matter microstructure in ice hockey players. Increased FA based on decreased RD may reflect neuroinflammatory or neuroplastic processes of the brain responding to brain trauma. Future studies are needed that include a longitudinal analysis of the brain’s structure and function following a concussion in order to elucidate further the complex time course of DTI changes and their clinical meaning.
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