Characterizing the Link Between Glial Activation and Changed Functional Connectivity in National Football League Players Using Multimodal Neuroimaging.
OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this preliminary study was to examine the impact of NFL play on interregional functional connectivity between two brain regions, the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and the thalamus, identified as having higher binding of [
METHODS: Resting-state functional MRI was used to examine functional brain changes between regions with evidence of past injury in active or recently retired NFL players (defined as ≤12 years since NFL play) and distantly retired players (defined as >12 years since NFL play). Age-comparable individuals without a history of concussion or participation in collegiate or professional collision sports were included as a control group.
RESULTS: Compared with healthy control subjects, NFL players showed a loss of anticorrelation between the left SMG and bilateral thalami (mean z score=-2.434, p=0.015). No difference was observed when examining right SMG connectivity. The pattern of connectivity in active and recently retired players mimicked the pattern observed in distantly retired players and older control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: Further study of the clinical significance of this altered pattern of interregional connectivity in active and recently retired NFL players is needed.
Published In/Presented At
Peters ME, Rahman S, Coughlin JM, Pomper MG, Sair HI. Characterizing the Link Between Glial Activation and Changed Functional Connectivity in National Football League Players Using Multimodal Neuroimaging. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2020 Spring;32(2):191-195. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.18110274. Epub 2019 Aug 9. PMID: 31394988; PMCID: PMC7007820.
Department of Psychiatry