Functional brain abnormalities are related to clinical recovery and time to return-to-play in athletes

Mark R. Lovell, Jamie E. Pardini, Joel Welling, Michael W. Collins, Jennifer Bakal, Nicole Lazar, Rebecca Roush, William F. Eddy, James T. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The relationship between athlete reports of symptoms, neurophysiological activation, and neuropsychological functioning is investigated in a sample of high school athletes. METHODS: All athletes were evaluated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a computer-based battery of neurocognitive tests, and a subjective symptom scale. Athletes were evaluated within approximately 1 week of injury and again after clinical recovery using all assessment modalities. RESULTS: This study found that abnormal fMRI results during the first week of recovery predicted clinical recovery. As a group, athletes who demonstrated hyperactivation on fMRI scans at the time of their first fMRI scan demonstrated a more prolonged clinical recovery than athletes who did not demonstrate hyperactivation at the time of their first fMRI scan. CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate the relationship between neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and subjective symptom data in a relatively large sample composed primarily of concussed high school athletes. fMRI represents an important evolving technology for the understanding of brain recovery after concussion and may help shape return-to-play guidelines in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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