Sensorimotor and cognitive effects of repetitive head trauma among female collegiate athletes

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Collision sports participation increases risk for repetitive head trauma (RHT), including concussion and subconcussive events lacking immediate symptoms. Research suggests a link between RHT exposure and subsequent cognitive decline, as well as, serious neuropsychiatric conditions such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The effects of RHT are a significant public health concern because there are 8.5 million collegiate athletes in the U.S. While RHT experienced during sports results in changes to brain structure and function, effects on cognition have been inconclusive due to use of insensitive measures. This research has also focused predominantly on males. Thus, reliable biomarkers of RHT and understanding of cognitive effects among females are lacking. Eye tracking is a reliable measure of sensorimotor and cognitive function closely linked to brain regions adversely affected by concussion. We propose to determine whether eye tracking can detect effects of RHT on sensorimotor and cognitive functioning by comparing performance from pre‐ to post‐season among collegiate athletes participating in collision vs. non‐collision sports. Findings will advance knowledge of RHT’s effect on sensorimotor and cognitive functioning and contribute to greater understanding and management of RHT among female collegiate athletes.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date9/1/178/31/20

Funding

  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Agmt 2/1/18)

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