Changes in cortical thickness in pediatric sports-related concussion: a pilot study
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Sports-related concussion (SRC) is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is thought to represent a functional, rather than a structural brain injury. Recent studies however have implicated SRC as a potential risk factor for the long-term development of neurodegenerative disease such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition characterized by widespread atrophy of numerous cortical and subcortical brain structures. The objective of this study is to retrospectively examine the relationship between concussion history, concussion symptom burden, and volumetric grey and white matter volume in children and adolescents with symptomatic SRC compared to healthy non-concussed controls. Volumetric studies will be carried out using Freesurfer software in a blinded fashion in approximately 30 adolescent SRC patients evaluated at the Pan Am Concussion Program, Winnipeg, Manitoba and 30 normal control subjects. All subjects included in this pilot study have undergone volumetric T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a part of a previous neuroimaging research study at the Kleysen Institute of Advanced Medicine. The results of this study will provide insight into the effect of concussion history and symptom burden on grey and white matter volumes in children and adolescents. Region of interest volumetric grey and matter analysis may also yield a potential quantitative biomarker that could be used to estimate the cumulative effects of concussion and the risk of developing long-term effects such as neurodegenerative disease and CTE.