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Master Thesis

Étude des modifications fonctionnelles cérébrales au repos en IRM chez des footballeurs semi-professionnels associées aux impacts crâniens sur une saison

Abstract : Background: soccer, as a contact sport, exposes players to repetitive head impacts (RHI), especially through heading the ball. The question of a long-term brain cumulative effect remains. Our objective was to determine whether playing soccer is associated with changes in functional brain connectivity at rest, using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and secondary to determine whether the exposure to RHI over one soccer season is associated with changes in functional connectivity. Methods: in this prospective comparative double cohort study, 16 semi-professional male soccer players, aged 18-25 years, and 20 age-matched male amateur athletes from University without a concussion history and who do not practice any contact sport were recruited in Bordeaux (France). All controls and 10 soccer players completed the study. For each soccer player, exposure to RHI during each soccer game over the regional championship season was carried-out using videos analysis. Eventual exposure to head impacts in control group was checked by phone calls once a month. Resting-state functional MRI data was acquired for both groups at two times with an interval of 9 to 12 months (before and after the season for soccer players). With a seed-based analysis, resting-state networks that have been intimately associated with aspects of cognitive or motor functioning were investigated. Results: increased connectivity within the Motor network was found in soccer players relative to controls in pre-season. Mean RHI per soccer player was 42 (±33) over the season, with no concussion. Exposure to RHI over the season was associated with hyper-connectivity within the Default Mode network and the Cortico-cerebellar network (p<0.05, with correction for multiple comparisons). Conclusion: our findings suggest that the brain functioning of soccer players is different from other athletes and that it changes over one season. RHI exposure in high-level soccer may influence these functional brain connectivity changes in asymptomatic players. Other imaging modalities should be used to investigate whether these functional connectivity changes are associated with possible microstructural and microvascular brain abnormalities in these athletes.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 2:48:13 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 1:24:13 AM


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Adrien Petit. Étude des modifications fonctionnelles cérébrales au repos en IRM chez des footballeurs semi-professionnels associées aux impacts crâniens sur une saison. Sciences du Vivant [q-bio]. 2019. ⟨dumas-02447230⟩



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