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Abstract #0053

Alterations in Brain Functional Connectivity and Global Cerebral Blood Flow in Collegiate Football Athletes over a Single Football Season

David C Zhu1, Peter Seidenberg2, Tim Bream2, Alexa Walter2, Xiaoxiao Bai2, Brian Johnson3, Hans Breiter4, Thomas M Talavage5, and Semyon Slobounov2

1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States, 2Penn State University, University Park, PA, United States, 3Philips Healthcare, 4Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States, 5Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States

There has been growing concern over sports-related brain injuries and their long-term effects. However, the cumulative effect on the brain of sub-concussive hits is still poorly understood. Eighteen male collegiate student football athletes completed multi-modal MRI scans before and after a football season. We found significant changes of functional connectivity to the default-mode network, along with significant increase of cerebral blood flow both globally and at the postcentral gyrus. These changes point to the need for further investigation of the long-term development of brain networks in the presence of sub-concussive hits, and the potential relationship with brain vascular modification.

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