A Prospective Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound-Based Evaluation of the Effects of Repetitive Subconcussive Head Trauma on Neurovascular Coupling Dynamics


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objective:To determine the effects of repetitive subconcussive head trauma on neurovascular coupling (NVC) responses.Design:Prospective cohort study collected between September 2013 and December 2016.Setting:University laboratory.Participants:One hundred seventy-nine elite, junior-level (age, 19.6 ± 1.5 years) contact sport (ice hockey, American football) athletes recruited for preseason testing. Fifty-two nonconcussed athletes returned for postseason testing. Fifteen noncontact sport athletes (age, 20.4 ± 2.2 years) also completed preseason and postseason testing.Exposure(s):Subconcussive sport-related head trauma.Main Outcome Measures:Dynamics of NVC were estimated during cycles of 20 seconds eyes closed and 40 seconds eyes open to a visual stimulus (reading) by measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) velocity in the posterior (PCA) and middle (MCA) cerebral arteries via transcranial Doppler ultrasound.Results:Both athlete groups demonstrated no significant differences in PCA or MCA NVC dynamics between preseason and postseason, despite exposure to a median of 353.5 (range, 295.0-587.3) head impacts (>2g) over the course of the season for contact sport athletes.Conclusions:Within the context of growing concern over detrimental effects of repetitive subconcussive trauma, the current results encouragingly suggest that the dynamics of NVC responses are not affected by 1 season of participation in junior-level ice hockey or American football. This is an important finding because it indicates an appropriate postseason CBF response to elevated metabolic demand with increases in neural activity.

    loading  Loading Related Articles