Document Detail

Neuroimaging of cognitive dysfunction and depression in aging retired National Football League players: a cross-sectional study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23303193     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES To assess cognitive impairment and depression in aging former professional football (National Football League [NFL]) players and to identify neuroimaging correlates of these dysfunctions. DESIGN We compared former NFL players with cognitive impairment and depression, cognitively normal retired players who were not depressed, and matched healthy control subjects. SETTING Research center in the North Texas region of the United States. PATIENTS Cross-sectional sample of former NFL players with and without a history of concussion recruited from the North Texas region and age-, education-, and IQ-matched controls. Thirty-four retired NFL players (mean age, 61.8 years) underwent neurological and neuropsychological assessment. A subset of 26 players also underwent detailed neuroimaging; imaging data in this subset were compared with imaging data acquired in 26 healthy matched controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Neuropsychological measures, clinical diagnoses of depression, neuroimaging mea-sures of white matter pathology, and a measure of cerebral blood flow. RESULTS Of the 34 former NFL players, 20 were cognitively normal. Four were diagnosed as having a fixed cognitive deficit; 8, mild cognitive impairment; 2, dementia; and 8, depression. Of the subgroup in whom neuroimaging data were acquired, cognitively impaired participants showed the greatest deficits on tests of naming, word finding, and visual/verbal episodic memory. We found significant differences in white matter abnormalities in cognitively impaired and depressed retired players compared with their respective controls. Regional blood flow differences in the cognitively impaired group (left temporal pole, inferior parietal lobule, and superior temporal gyrus) corresponded to regions associated with impaired neurocognitive performance (problems with memory, naming, and word finding). CONCLUSIONS Cognitive deficits and depression appear to be more common in aging former NFL players compared with healthy controls. These deficits are correlated with white matter abnormalities and changes in regional cerebral blood flow.
John Hart; Michael A Kraut; Kyle B Womack; Jeremy Strain; Nyaz Didehbani; Elizabeth Bartz; Heather Conover; Sethesh Mansinghani; Hanzhang Lu; C Munro Cullum
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  JAMA neurology     Volume:  70     ISSN:  2168-6157     ISO Abbreviation:  JAMA Neurol     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-03-12     Completed Date:  2013-04-29     Revised Date:  2014-05-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101589536     Medline TA:  JAMA Neurol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  326-35     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Aging / pathology,  psychology*
Athletes / psychology*
Brain Concussion / diagnosis,  epidemiology,  psychology
Cognition Disorders / diagnosis,  epidemiology,  psychology*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Depression / diagnosis,  epidemiology,  psychology*
Football / psychology*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
Middle Aged
Neuroimaging / methods
Retirement / psychology*
Retrospective Studies
Texas / epidemiology
United States / epidemiology
Grant Support
5K23AG030006/AG/NIA NIH HHS; P30 AG012300/AG/NIA NIH HHS
Comment In:
JAMA Neurol. 2013 Mar 1;70(3):301-2   [PMID:  23303238 ]

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