. Football head injuries involve significant forces and can result in mild to severe traumatic brain injuries. While this has received increasing attention at the professional, collegiate, and high school levels, there is scarce if any data available for participants in the youth leagues (8-12 years old). This study will relate information about head motion during a hit in youth football to neurocognitive and imaging data to determine the effects of subconcussive impacts, and the true incidence of cognitive and objective imaging changes. All elements of this study focus on the objective to increase understanding of pediatric mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and prospectively collect biomechanical, imaging, functional, and computational modeling data on a scale never before attempted. This project integrates neuroinformatics work and the computational modeling techniques developed by Drs. Maldjian and Stitzel at Wake Forest University Health Sciences (WFUHS). It leverages the investments by WFUHS which has identified, instrumented, and begun recruiting the target population and funding the initial year as part of our ongoing work in this area of critical public importance. Th long term benefit of the research will be to allow equipment designers, researchers, and clinicians to better prevent, mitigate, identify and treat injuries to help make youth league football a safer activity for millions of children.

Public Health Relevance

This study will relate information about head motion during a hit in youth football to neurocognitive and imaging data to determine the effects of subconcussive impacts on the brain. The long term benefit of the research will be to allow equipment designers, researchers, and clinicians to better prevent, mitigate, identify and treat injuries to help make youth league football a safer activity for millions of children.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01NS082453-01A1
Application #
8687913
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Bellgowan, Patrick S F
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Department
Radiation-Diagnostic/Oncology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
City
Winston-Salem
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27157
Davenport, Elizabeth M; Whitlow, Christopher T; Urban, Jillian E et al. (2014) Abnormal white matter integrity related to head impact exposure in a season of high school varsity football. J Neurotrauma 31:1617-24
Maldjian, Joseph A; Davenport, Elizabeth M; Whitlow, Christopher T (2014) Graph theoretical analysis of resting-state MEG data: Identifying interhemispheric connectivity and the default mode. Neuroimage 96:88-94