The impact of multiple concussions on verbal memory in ex-athletes
Terry, Douglas Pryse
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This purpose of this study was to compare the neural activation during verbal memory processing between former athletes with a history of multiple concussions and former athletes without a concussive history using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). It was hypothesized that those with concussive histories would have greater activation in brain regions related to language and memory during the task. However, results indicate hypoactivation in the concussed group compared to the non-concussed group in regions typically associated with verbal processing during both encoding and memory recall. These differences could not be accounted for by general memory ability or performance on the verbal memory fMRI task. Results suggest that multiple concussions sustained earlier in life may be associated with subtle underlying changes in the verbal memory encoding system that limits one from accessing higher-order semantic networks. These differences may represent biomarkers for late-life functional decline.