Thursday, November 10, 2016

White matter tract abnormalities seen in football players receiving subconcussive blows

A group out of Wake Forest in North Carolina just published an article entitled Subconcussive Head Impact Exposure and White Matter Tract Changes over a Single Season of Youth Football in the journal Neuroradiology. Head impact data were recorded by using the Head Impact Telemetry system and quantified as the combined probability risk-weighted cumulative exposure (RWEcp).
Twenty-five male participants were evaluated for seasonal fractional anisotropy (FA) changes in specific white matter tracts.There were statistically significant linear relationships between RWEcp and decreased FA in certain white matter tracts. This study found a statistically significant relationship between head impact exposure and change of white matter FA value of in the
absence of a clinically diagnosed concussion. This research supports work by Ann McKee and others hinting at histologic changes that can be incidentally observed at autopsy among young football players. (Thanks for Dr. Adam King for alerting me to this important article from the radiology literature.)

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