Persistent differences in patterns of brain activation after sports-related concussion: A longitudinal fMRI study

A. Dettwiler, M. Murugavel, M. Putukian, R. Echemendia, V. Cubon, J. Furtado, D. Osherson
Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University
Department of Psychology, Princeton University, NJ

Avoiding recurrent injury in sports related concussion (SRC) requires understanding the neural mechanisms involved in recovery.Prior studies have reported functional differences of brain activation in athletes with SRC. fMRI studies using working memory tasks suggest altered patterns of activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Chen et al. (2004) reported fewer task-related activations and significantly decreased BOLD signal changes in the DLPFC in athletes with persistent symptoms compared to normal controls. Differences in brain activation in response to varying degrees of working memory processing load (N-back: 0, 1, 2 and 3 back) were identified by McAllister et al. (1999) in subjects with mTBI (Glasgow score 13-15) within one month after injury. The primary purpose of this study was to define neural correlates of SRC during the 2 month following injury, using a working memory task and fMRI.

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