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 and collegiate levels, there is less data available for the millions of participants in high school leagues (14-18 years old) during this time of rapid brain development. The purpose of this study is to relate information about cumulative head impact exposure over a season of high school football with neurocognitive and neuroimaging data to determine the effects of sub-concussive impacts on the brain. 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 in adolescents involved in contact sports. This project integrates neuroinformatics work and the computational modeling techniques developed by Drs. Whitlow, Maldjian and Stitzel at Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Public Health Relevance

Evidence is growing that sub-concussive head impacts in high school football may result in brain MRI changes and functional outcomes that are similar to those seen with mild traumatic brain injury. Such changes are alarming given that adolescence is a period of extensive brain maturation, including continued development of white matter tracts that subserve a variety of higher order cognitive functions. This study will relate information about head motion during a hit in high school football to neurocognitive and neuroimaging data to determine the effects of subconcussive impacts on the brain.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01NS091602-02
Application #
9222055
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Bellgowan, Patrick S F
Project Start
2016-07-01
Project End
2021-06-30
Budget Start
2017-07-01
Budget End
2018-06-30
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2017
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Department
Radiation-Diagnostic/Oncology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
937727907
City
Winston-Salem
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27157
Davenport, Elizabeth M; Apkarian, Kalyna; Whitlow, Christopher T et al. (2016) Abnormalities in Diffusional Kurtosis Metrics Related to Head Impact Exposure in a Season of High School Varsity Football. J Neurotrauma 33:2133-2146
Maldjian, Joseph A; Daunais, James B; Friedman, David P et al. (2014) Vervet MRI atlas and label map for fully automated morphometric analyses. Neuroinformatics 12:543-50