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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

First Advisor

Mike Torry


While clinical assessments may aide to identify a sports related concussion (SRC), there is no conclusive diagnosis via these assessments alone. Moreover, the progression and recovery of SRC is difficult to quantify. This is because the pathophysiological development of the injury occurs at the cellular process level; clinical assessments may not be sensitive to, nor can they be identified through, standard structural imaging. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) scalars such as fiber tractography, Fractional Anisotrophy (FA), and Mean Diffusivity (MD) analyses have shown promise in identifying concussion as they can quantify axonal microstructure integrity via disturbances in Brownian water diffusion. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare DTI scalars within regions of interest of FA and MD taken serially between acutely (<72 hours) and post-acutely (2 weeks) concussed individuals with healthy controls. METHODS: Male athletes (n=8) between the ages of 14 and 18 who presented with a sports-related concussion received a DTI scan focusing on 36 specific regions of the brain to assess FA and MD within 2.38 ± 1.06 days of injury and 16.83 ± 0.75 days post-injury. RESULTS: Between group independent t-tests gave significant differences (all p ≤ 0.047) for 9 of 36 regions in FA of scan 1 in the left superior corona radiata, right superior corona radiata, right posterior limb of the internal capsule, genu and body of corpus callosum, left cingulum projecting to the hippocampal region, right fornix (including only cres and stria terminalis), right superior longitudinal fasciculus, and the left superior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Only the right cingulum projecting to the hippocampus was significant within the MD scans (p=0.029). Within-subjects paired t-test showed significant difference (p<0.029) in the right cingulum projecting to the hippocampus in the MD scan. No significant results were identified in the paired t-test for the FA scan. Scan 2 had 5 of 36 regions significant (all p≤0.041), including left and right superior corona radiata, right posterior limb of the internal capsule, right superior longitudinal fasciculus, and left hippocampal region projecting to the cingulum. CONCLUSION: This data suggests that concussed individuals will have higher FA values in specific regions of the brain compared to a control group at 72 hours after initial injury. These values also remained higher after 2 weeks in some regions. Conversely, MD values were mostly unchanged.


Imported from ProQuest Pollalis_ilstu_0092N_11154.pdf


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