Advanced magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological assessment for detecting brain injury in a prospective cohort of university amateur boxers

Hart, M.G. and Housden, C.R. and Suckling, J. and Tait, R. and Young, A. and Muller, U. and Newcombe, V.F.J. and Jalloh, I. and Pearson, B. and Cross, J. and Trivedi, R.A. and Pickard, J.D. and Sahakian, B.J. and Hutchinson, P.J. (2017) Advanced magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological assessment for detecting brain injury in a prospective cohort of university amateur boxers. Neuroimage Clinical, 15. pp. 194-199. ISSN 2213-1582

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Abstract

Background/aim

The safety of amateur and professional boxing is a contentious issue. We hypothesised that advanced magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological testing could provide evidence of acute and early brain injury in amateur boxers.

Methods

We recruited 30 participants from a university amateur boxing club in a prospective cohort study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neuropsychological testing was performed at three time points: prior to starting training; within 48 h following a first major competition to detect acute brain injury; and one year follow-up. A single MRI acquisition was made from control participants. Imaging analysis included cortical thickness measurements with Advanced Normalization Tools (ANTS) and FreeSurfer, voxel based morphometry (VBM), and Tract Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS). A computerized battery of neuropsychological tests was performed assessing attention, learning, memory and impulsivity.

Results

During the study period, one boxer developed seizures controlled with medication while another developed a chronic subdural hematoma requiring neurosurgical drainage. A total of 10 boxers contributed data at to the longitudinal assessment protocol. Reasons for withdrawal were: logistics (10), stopping boxing (7), withdrawal of consent (2), and development of a chronic subdural hematoma (1). No significant changes were detected using VBM, TBSS, cortical thickness measured with FreeSurfer or ANTS, either cross-sectionally at baseline, or longitudinally. Neuropsychological assessment of boxers found attention/concentration improved over time while planning and problem solving ability latency decreased after a bout but recovered after one year.

Conclusion

While this neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessment protocol could not detect any evidence of brain injury, one boxer developed seizures and another developed a chronic sub-dural haematoma.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Boxing; Neuroimaging; Brain structure; CANTAB
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Computing and Digital Technology
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Computing and Digital Technology > Cloud Computing
UoA Collections > UoA11: Computer Science and Informatics
Depositing User: $ Ian McDonald
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2017 09:44
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2017 09:44
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5265

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