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Abstract #0046

Alterations in Network Connectivity Within Special Forces Military Personnel: A Combined Resting-FMRI and DTI Study

Allen A Champagne1, Nicole S Coverdale2, Andrew Ross3, Christopher I Murray3, Isabelle Vallee4, and Douglas J Cook5
1School of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada, 2Center for Neuroscience Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada, 3Performance Phenomics, Toronto, ON, Canada, 4National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, ON, Canada, 5Department of Surgery, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada

Chronic exposure to head trauma in Special Forces personnel may provide a mechanism for changes in connectivity making-up the architectural organization of functional hubs. Here, resting-state MRI and diffusion tensor imaging are integrated to highlight interdependent differences in functional and structural connectivity of Canadian military Special Operations Forces personnel, when compared to civilian. Changes in white matter integrity of fibers directly connecting functional nodes were observed, which may explain, at least in part, changes in functional markers within networks. These findings suggest a potential structural compensatory relationship between axonal injury and neural recruitment following head trauma from high-exposure military duties.

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