October 3, 2023

Neurotrauma Rep. 2023 Aug 18;4(1):551-559. doi: 10.1089/neur.2023.0020. eCollection 2023.


Soccer players are at risk of suffering cranial injuries in the short and long term. There is growing concern that this may lead to traumatic brain injury in soccer players. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is an analytical method that enables the measurement of changes in brain metabolites that usually occur before significant structural changes. This study aimed to use MRS to compare variations in brain metabolite levels between retired soccer players and a control group. Twenty retired professional soccer players and 22 controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging, including MRS sequences and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Metabolite analysis was conducted based on absolute concentration and relative ratios. N-acetyl-aspartate, choline, glutamate, glutamine, and myoinositol were the metabolites of interest for the statistical analysis. Retired soccer players had an average age of 57.8 years, whereas the control group had an average age of 63.2 years. Median cognitive evaluation score, assessed using the MMSE, was 28 [26-29] for athletes and 29 [28-30] for controls (p = 0.01). Uni- and multi-variate analyses of the absolute concentration of metabolites (mM) between former athletes and controls did not yield any statistically significant results. Comparison of metabolites to creatine ratio concentrations did not yield any statistically significant results. There were no changes in concentrations of brain metabolites that indicated brain metabolic changes in retired soccer players compared with controls.

PMID:37636333 | PMC:PMC10457626 | DOI:10.1089/neur.2023.0020