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Published Online: 15 August 2017

Neck Collar with Mild Jugular Vein Compression Ameliorates Brain Activation Changes during a Working Memory Task after a Season of High School Football

Publication: Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 34, Issue Number 16

Abstract

Emerging evidence indicates that repetitive head impacts, even at a sub-concussive level, may result in exacerbated or prolonged neurological deficits in athletes. This study aimed to: 1) quantify the effect of repetitive head impacts on the alteration of neuronal activity based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of working memory after a high school football season; and 2) determine whether a neck collar that applies mild jugular vein compression designed to reduce brain energy absorption in head impact through “slosh” mitigation can ameliorate the altered fMRI activation during a working memory task. Participants were recruited from local high school football teams with 27 and 25 athletes assigned to the non-collar and collar group, respectively. A standard N-Back task was used to engage working memory in the fMRI at both pre- and post-season. The two study groups experienced similar head impact frequency and magnitude during the season (all p > 0.05). fMRI blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal response (a reflection of the neuronal activity level) during the working memory task increased significantly from pre- to post-season in the non-collar group (corrected p < 0.05), but not in the collar group. Areas displaying less activation change in the collar group (corrected p < 0.05) included the precuneus, inferior parietal cortex, and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Additionally, BOLD response in the non-collar group increased significantly in direct association with the total number of impacts and total g-force (p < 0.05). Our data provide initial neuroimaging evidence for the effect of repetitive head impacts on the working memory related brain activity, as well as a potential protective effect that resulted from the use of the purported brain slosh reducing neck collar in contact sports.

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Information & Authors

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Published In

cover image Journal of Neurotrauma
Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 34Issue Number 16August 15, 2017
Pages: 2432 - 2444
PubMed: 28437225

History

Published in print: August 15, 2017
Published online: 15 August 2017
Published ahead of print: 8 June 2017
Published ahead of production: 18 February 2017

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Authors

Affiliations

Weihong Yuan
Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
James Leach
Division of Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Thomas Maloney
Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mekibib Altaye
Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
David Smith
Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Paul J. Gubanich
Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Kim D. Barber Foss
Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The SPORT Center, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Division of Health Sciences, Department of Athletic Training, Mount St. Joseph University, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah.
Staci Thomas
Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The SPORT Center, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Christopher A. DiCesare
Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The SPORT Center, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Adam W. Kiefer
Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The SPORT Center, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Center for Cognition, Action and Perception, Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Gregory D. Myer
Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The SPORT Center, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, Massachusetts.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Gregory D. Myer, PhDCincinnati Children's Hospital3333 Burnet AvenueMLC 10001Cincinnati, OH 45229E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

David Smith is the inventor of the Q-Collar approach and has financial interest in the results of the current research.

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