Sports-related concussion in adolescents is a major public health issue; however, little is known about the underlying changes in functional brain connectivity. We evaluated connectivity of resting-state brain networks to determine whether alterations in specific networks distinguish adolescents with sports-related concussion from a group of healthy, active control adolescents. Twelve adolescents with a clinical diagnosis of subacute concussion and ten healthy adolescents matched for age, gender, and physical activity completed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning. Functional connectivity of resting-state brain networks was evaluated in both groups using probabilistic independent component analysis (ICA). Altered functional connectivity was found within three resting-state networks in adolescents with concussion. Specifically, we noted: a) alterations within the default mode network; b) increased connectivity in the right frontal pole in the executive function network; and c) increased connectivity in the left frontal operculum cortex associated with the ventral attention network. This preliminary report shows that whole-brain functional connectivity is altered in networks related to cognition and attention in adolescents in the subacute phase following sports-related concussion. This first report in adolescents should be used to inform future studies in larger cohorts of adolescents with sports-related concussion. Increased knowledge of these changes may lead to improvements in clinical management and help to develop rehabilitation programs.
Source: Watson Brain Health Society