Nav: Home

Imaging study examines brains of current, former NFL players

November 28, 2016

The resident immune cells of the central nervous system called microglia are thought to play a role in the brain's response to injury and other neurodegenerative processes. It has been suggested that prolonged microglial activation happens after single and repeated traumatic brain injury.

Martin G. Pomper, M.D., Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md., and coauthors conducted a positron emission tomographic (PET) imaging study of 14 current or former National Football League players and 16 nonplayers for comparison.

The researchers measured a marker of activated glial cell response, which may be a biomarker for brain injury and repair in living patients. That marker, the translocator protein 18 kDA (TSPO), normally exists at low levels in brain tissue but increases within activated microglia or with microglial proliferation.

The NFL players, who reported an average of seven years since their last self-reported concussion, showed higher distribution volume - a measure of radiotracer uptake - in 8 of 12 brain regions examined. The authors also reported limited white matter changes in the brains of NFL players compared with the matched nonplayers used for comparison. There appeared to be no difference in regional brain volumes or neuropsychological performance.

"These results suggest that localized brain injury may be associated with NFL play, although further study is needed to test links to onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms," the study concludes.
-end-
To read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(JAMA Neurol. Published online November 28, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.3764; available pre-embargo at the For The Media website.)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Brain Injury Articles:

Using machine learning to predict pediatric brain injury
When newborn babies or children with heart or lung distress are struggling to survive, doctors often turn to a form of life support that uses artificial lungs.
A memory game could help us understand brain injury
A Boston University team created a memory game for mice in order to examine the function of two different brain areas that process information about the sensation of touch and the memory of previous events.
Clear signs of brain injury with severe COVID-19
Certain patients who receive hospital care for coronavirus infection (COVID-19) exhibit clinical and neurochemical signs of brain injury, a University of Gothenburg study shows.
Reducing dangerous swelling in traumatic brain injury
After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the most harmful damage is caused by secondary swelling of the brain compressed inside the skull.
Can brain injury from boxing, MMA be measured?
For boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, is there a safe level of exposure to head trauma?
Study: Brain injury common in domestic violence
Domestic violence survivors commonly suffer repeated blows to the head and strangulation, trauma that has lasting effects that should be widely recognized by advocates, health care providers, law enforcement and others who are in a position to help, according to the authors of a new study.
Which car crashes cause traumatic brain injury?
Motor vehicle crashes are one of the most common causes of TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths.
Landmark study reveals no benefit to costly and risky brain cooling after brain injury
A landmark study, led by Monash University researchers, has definitively found that the practice of cooling the body and brain in patients who have recently received a severe traumatic brain injury, has no impact on the patient's long-term outcome.
Every cell has a story to tell in brain injury
Traumatic head injury can have widespread effects in the brain, but now scientists can look in real time at how head injury affects thousands of individual cells and genes simultaneously in mice.
Traumatic brain injury recovery via petri dish
Researchers in the University of Georgia's Regenerative Bioscience Center have succeeded in reproducing the effects of traumatic brain injury and stimulating recovery in neuron cells grown in a petri dish.
More Brain Injury News and Brain Injury Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.