Genetics influence neurocognitive performance at baseline but not concussion history in collegiate student-athletes.

Clin J Sport Med. -


Cochrane, G. D., Sundman, M. H., Hall, E. E., Kostek, M. C., Patel, K., Barnes, K. P. and Ketcham, C. J..



OBJECTIVE: This study investigates 4 single-nucleotide polymorphisms [Apolipoprotein E (APOE), APOE promoter, catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), and dopamine D2 receptor] that have been implicated in concussion susceptibility and/or cognitive ability in collegiate student-athletes. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Neuroscience laboratory at Elon University. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred fifty Division I collegiate student-athletes (66 women, 184 men) from various sports. INTERVENTION: All participants completed Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) testing at baseline concussion testing and had a buccal swab taken for DNA for genotyping. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported history of concussions and neurocognitive performance were taken from ImPACT. RESULTS: Individuals carrying an epsilon4 allele in their APOE gene had a significantly slower reaction time (P = 0.001). Individuals homozygous for the Val allele of the COMT gene showed significantly worse impulse control scores (P = 0.014). None of the genotypes were able to predict self-reported concussion history in collegiate student-athletes. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that certain genotypes may influence performance on cognitive testing at baseline and that the APOE genotypes may not influence concussion susceptibility as suggested by past studies. PMID: 28708709 DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000443

Links to full article: