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Abstract #1464

Early aging, iron accumulation and demyelination in cervical spinal cord and brain as long-term effects of rugby practice?

Arash Forodighasemabadi1,2,3,4, Guillaume Baucher1,2,5, Lucas Soustelle1,2, Thomas Troalen6, Olivier Girard1,2, Guillaume Duhamel1,2, Jean-Philippe Ranjeva1,2, Maxime Guye1,2, Jean-Baptiste Grisoli7, and Virginie Callot1,2,4
1Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, CRMBM, Marseille, France, 2APHM, Hopital Universitaire Timone, CEMEREM, Marseille, France, 3Aix-Marseille Univ, Université Gustave Eiffel, LBA, Marseille, France, 4iLab-Spine International Associated Laboratory, Marseille-Montreal, Marseille, France, 5APHM, Hopital Universitaire Nord, Neurosurgery Dept, Marseille, France, 6Siemens Healthcare SAS, Saint-Denis, France, 7APHM, Hopital Universitaire Timone, Pole MPR, Marseille, France


Brain alterations due to cumulative effects of impacts have been reported in rugby players. However, literature on long-term effects is scarce, and no study has been conducted to characterize potential spinal cord impairments.

In this study using a multiparametric MR protocol dedicated to both brain and cord, and combining state-of-the-art T1 relaxometry and ihMT imaging, we observed diffuse T1 increase in the cervical spinal cord, together with increased T1 and decreased ihMTsat in specific brain WM tracts in retired players.

These preliminary results also suggest early aging, tissue degeneration, iron accumulation, and different aging processes in retired players.

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