October 3, 2023

J Neurol Sci. 2023 Sep 1;453:120777. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2023.120777. Online ahead of print.


International concern continues regarding the association between the long-term neurophysiologic changes from repetitive neurotrauma associated with contact and collision sports. This study describes corticomotor changes in retired contact/collision sport athletes and controls, between the ages of 30 and 70 years. Retired athletes (n = 152; 49.1 ± 8.5 years) and controls (n = 72; 47.8 ± 9.5 years) were assessed using single and paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for active motor threshold (aMT), motor evoked potential and cortical silent period duration (expressed as MEP:cSP ratio), and short- and long-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI and LICI). Motor threshold, MEP:cSP, SICI and LICI for both groups were correlated across age. Controls showed significant moderate correlations for MEP:cSP ratios at 130% (rho = 0.48, p < 0.001), 150% (rho = 0.49, p < 0.001) and 170% aMT (rho = 0.42; p < 0.001) and significant small negative correlation for SICI (rho = -0.27; p = 0.030), and moderate negative correlation for LICI (rho = -0.43; p 50 years), this study is the first to characterize corticomotor differences between retired athletes and controls across the lifespan. These results, demonstrating pathophysiological differences in retired athletes across the lifespan, provide a foundation to utilise evoked potentials as a prodromal marker in supplementing neurological assessment for traumatic encephalopathy syndrome associated with contact/collision sport athletes that is currently lacking physiological biomarkers.

PMID:37677860 | DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2023.120777