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Neurochemical Aftermath of Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Journal article
Authors Pashtun Shahim
Yelverton Tegner
Bengt Gustafsson
Magnus Gren
Johan Ärlig
Martin Olsson
Niklas Lehto
Åsa Engström
Kina Höglund
Erik Portelius
Henrik Zetterberg
Kaj Blennow
Published in JAMA neurology
Volume 73
Issue 11
Pages 1308-1315
ISSN 2168-6157
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 1308-1315
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2016....
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Subject categories Neurochemistry

Abstract

Evidence is accumulating that repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) incidents can lead to persistent, long-term debilitating symptoms and in some cases a progressive neurodegenerative condition referred to as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. However, to our knowledge, there are no objective tools to examine to which degree persistent symptoms after mTBI are caused by neuronal injury.To determine whether persistent symptoms after mTBI are associated with brain injury as evaluated by cerebrospinal fluid biochemical markers for axonal damage and other aspects of central nervous system injury.A multicenter cross-sectional study involving professional Swedish ice hockey players who have had repeated mTBI, had postconcussion symptoms for more than 3 months, and fulfilled the criteria for postconcussion syndrome (PCS) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) matched with neurologically healthy control individuals. The participants were enrolled between January 2014 and February 2016. The players were also assessed with Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire and magnetic resonance imaging.Neurofilament light protein, total tau, glial fibrillary acidic protein, amyloid β, phosphorylated tau, and neurogranin concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid.A total of 31 participants (16 men with PCS; median age, 31 years; range, 22-53 years; and 15 control individuals [11 men and 4 women]; median age, 25 years; range, 21-35 years) were assessed. Of 16 players with PCS, 9 had PCS symptoms for more than 1 year, while the remaining 7 returned to play within a year. Neurofilament light proteins were significantly increased in players with PCS for more than 1 year (median, 410 pg/mL; range, 230-1440 pg/mL) compared with players whose PCS resolved within 1 year (median, 210 pg/mL; range, 140-460 pg/mL) as well as control individuals (median 238 pg/mL, range 128-526 pg/mL; P = .04 and P = .02, respectively). Furthermore, neurofilament light protein concentrations correlated with Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire scores and lifetime concussion events (ρ = 0.58, P = .02 and ρ = 0.52, P = .04, respectively). Overall, players with PCS had significantly lower cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β levels compared with control individuals (median, 1094 pg/mL; range, 845-1305 pg/mL; P = .05).Increased cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light proteins and reduced amyloid β were observed in patients with PCS, suggestive of axonal white matter injury and amyloid deposition. Measurement of these biomarkers may be an objective tool to assess the degree of central nervous system injury in individuals with PCS and to distinguish individuals who are at risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

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