Resting-state fMRI metrics in acute sport-related concussion and their association with clinical recovery: A study from the NCAA-DOD CARE consortium

Timothy B. Meier, Monica Giraldo-Chica, Lezlie Y. España, Andrew R. Mayer, Jaroslaw Harezlak, Andrew S. Nencka, Yang Wang, Kevin M. Koch, Yu Chien Wu, Andrew J. Saykin, Christopher C. Giza, Joshua Goldman, John P. Difiori, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Jason P. Mihalik, Alison Brooks, Steven P. Broglio, Thomas McAllister, Michael A. McCrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

There has been a recent call for longitudinal cohort studies to track the physiological recovery of sport-related concussion (SRC) and its relationship with clinical recovery. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has shown potential for detecting subtle changes in brain function after SRC. We investigated the effects of SRC on rs-fMRI metrics assessing local connectivity (regional homogeneity; REHO), global connectivity (average nodal strength), and the relative amplitude of slow oscillations of rs-fMRI (fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations; fALFF). Athletes diagnosed with SRC (n = 92) completed visits with neuroimaging at 24-48 h post-injury (24 h), after clearance to begin the return-to-play (RTP) progression (asymptomatic), and 7 days following unrestricted RTP (post-RTP). Non-injured athletes (n = 82) completed visits yoked to the schedule of matched injured athletes and served as controls. Concussed athletes had elevated symptoms, worse neurocognitive performance, greater balance deficits, and elevated psychological symptoms at the 24-h visit relative to controls. These deficits were largely recovered by the asymptomatic visit. Concussed athletes still reported elevated psychological symptoms at the asymptomatic visit relative to controls. Concussed athletes also had elevated REHO in the right middle and superior frontal gyri at the 24-h visit that returned to normal levels by the asymptomatic visit. Additionally, REHO in these regions at 24 h predicted psychological symptoms at the asymptomatic visit in concussed athletes. Current results suggest that SRC is associated with an acute alteration in local connectivity that follows a similar time course as clinical recovery. Our results do not indicate strong evidence that concussion-related alterations in rs-fMRI persist beyond clinical recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • functional connectivity
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • resting state
  • sport-related concussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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    Meier, T. B., Giraldo-Chica, M., España, L. Y., Mayer, A. R., Harezlak, J., Nencka, A. S., Wang, Y., Koch, K. M., Wu, Y. C., Saykin, A. J., Giza, C. C., Goldman, J., Difiori, J. P., Guskiewicz, K. M., Mihalik, J. P., Brooks, A., Broglio, S. P., McAllister, T., & McCrea, M. A. (2020). Resting-state fMRI metrics in acute sport-related concussion and their association with clinical recovery: A study from the NCAA-DOD CARE consortium. Journal of neurotrauma, 37(1), 152-162. https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2019.6471