genetic marker_concussionsA new study presented by Tom Terrell, MD, M. Phil, is a step closer to finding out if an athlete’s genetic makeup can determine the severity of the post-concussive brain function. The research, titled “Association Between Genetic Polymorphisms and the Difference Between Baseline and Post-Concussion Headminder/ImPACT Neuropsychological Test Scores in Reaction Time and Errors in College Athletes,” was presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s (AMSSM) Annual Meeting in California on April 20.

The prospective cohort study is the first to link two particular genetic markers, Tau gene exon 6 Hist47Tyr and APOE Promoter G-219T, to post-concussion neurocognitive function and outcome in a group of young athletes—specifically, college football and male and female soccer athletes. Terrell believes that this is a precursor to understanding the link between genetic factors and neurocognitive outcome for concussion in contact sport athletes.

The prospective cohort study included a total of 3,218 college athletes, including 131 college athletes who completed a concussion/medical questionnaire, baseline neuropsychological testing (Headminder and ImPACT), and genetic sampling. The study was funded by the AMSSM and the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and was developed by a team of sports medicine researchers. The sports medicine researchers included David Erlanger, PhD, Jeff Barth, PhD, Robert Cantu, MD, and Robin Bostick, MD.

[Source: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine]