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J Neurotrauma. 2017 Aug 15;34(16):2432-2444. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4834. Epub 2017 Jun 8.

Neck Collar with Mild Jugular Vein Compression Ameliorates Brain Activation Changes during a Working Memory Task after a Season of High School Football.

Yuan W1,2, Leach J3,2, Maloney T1, Altaye M4,2, Smith D5, Gubanich PJ5,6, Barber Foss KD5,7,8,9, Thomas S5,7, DiCesare CA5,7, Kiefer AW5,6,7,10, Myer GD5,6,7,11,12,13.

Author information

1
1 Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center , Cincinnati, Ohio.
2
4 College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati , Cincinnati, Ohio.
3
2 Division of Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center , Cincinnati, Ohio.
4
3 Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center , Cincinnati, Ohio.
5
5 Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center , Cincinnati, Ohio.
6
6 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati , Cincinnati, Ohio.
7
7 The SPORT Center, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center , Cincinnati, Ohio.
8
8 Division of Health Sciences, Department of Athletic Training, Mount St. Joseph University , Cincinnati, Ohio.
9
9 Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions , Provo, Utah.
10
10 Center for Cognition, Action and Perception, Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati , Cincinnati, Ohio.
11
11 Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
12
12 The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention , Waltham, Massachusetts.
13
13 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati , Cincinnati, Ohio.

Abstract

Emerging evidence indicates that repetitive head impacts, even at a sub-concussive level, may result in exacerbated or prolonged neurological deficits in athletes. This study aimed to: 1) quantify the effect of repetitive head impacts on the alteration of neuronal activity based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of working memory after a high school football season; and 2) determine whether a neck collar that applies mild jugular vein compression designed to reduce brain energy absorption in head impact through "slosh" mitigation can ameliorate the altered fMRI activation during a working memory task. Participants were recruited from local high school football teams with 27 and 25 athletes assigned to the non-collar and collar group, respectively. A standard N-Back task was used to engage working memory in the fMRI at both pre- and post-season. The two study groups experienced similar head impact frequency and magnitude during the season (all p > 0.05). fMRI blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal response (a reflection of the neuronal activity level) during the working memory task increased significantly from pre- to post-season in the non-collar group (corrected p < 0.05), but not in the collar group. Areas displaying less activation change in the collar group (corrected p < 0.05) included the precuneus, inferior parietal cortex, and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Additionally, BOLD response in the non-collar group increased significantly in direct association with the total number of impacts and total g-force (p < 0.05). Our data provide initial neuroimaging evidence for the effect of repetitive head impacts on the working memory related brain activity, as well as a potential protective effect that resulted from the use of the purported brain slosh reducing neck collar in contact sports.

KEYWORDS:

N-Back task; fMRI; football head impact; neck collar; working memory

PMID:
28437225
DOI:
10.1089/neu.2016.4834
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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