Concussion Management Defined

Baseline Serum Biomarker Concentrations: Association with Clinical Measures and Brain Trauma History

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2018 Nov;


Asken, B. M., Bauer, R. M., Houck, Z. M., Svingos, A. M., Moreno, C. C., Hromas, G. and Clugston, J. R..


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Objective: Fluid biomarkers may provide objective markers of the physiological effects of brain injury, such as sport-related concussion, as well as cumulative exposure to repetitive brain trauma common in collision sports. We evaluated the effect of concussion history and years playing collision sports on baseline serum biomarker concentrations, as well as associations with baseline clinical outcomes. Participants and Methods: We analyzed baseline serum concentrations of UCH-L1, GFAP, S100B, Aâ-42, total tau, MAP2, and CNPase collected via venipuncture from male (n=156) and female (n=105) University of Florida varsity athletes (mean±SD age at baseline 18.8±1.2 years). Regression analyses evaluated biomarker concentration (pg/mL) associations based on concussion history, cumulative years playing collision sports (diving, football, ice hockey, soccer, and wrestling), and composite scores obtained from the Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT Verbal Memory, Visual Memory, Visual Motor Speed, and Reaction Time). Results: We found that more cumulative years playing collision sports was associated with significantly lower serum S100B (â=-.161, p=.007). There were no other significant associations between concussion history or cumulative years playing collision sport and any baseline serum biomarker concentrations. Lower baseline GFAP concentration was associated with better Visual Memory (â=.144, p=.038) but worse Visual Motor Speed (â=-.156, p=.033). No other associations between biomarker concentration and clinical outcomes were observed. Conclusions: Serum biomarker concentrations revealed no indications of detrimental effects of concussion history or years playing collision sports. Sporadically observed associations between biomarker concentrations and cognitive scores were weak and inconsistent, and were likely spurious statistical findings.

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