Increased CSF levels of phosphorylated neurofilament heavy protein following bout in amateur boxers

  • Neselius S
  • Zetterberg H
  • Blennow K
 et al. 
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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Diagnosis of mild TBI is hampered by the lack of imaging or biochemical measurements for identifying or quantifying mild TBI in a clinical setting. We have previously shown increased biomarker levels of protein reflecting axonal (neurofilament light protein and tau) and glial (GFAP and S-100B) damage in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) after a boxing bout. The aims of this study were to find other biomarkers of mild TBI, which may help clinicians diagnose and monitor mild TBI, and to calculate the role of APOE ε4 allele genotype which has been associated with poor outcome after TBI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty amateur boxers with a minimum of 45 bouts and 25 non-boxing matched controls were included in a prospective cohort study. CSF and blood were collected at one occasion between 1 and 6 days after a bout, and after a rest period for at least 14 days (follow up). The controls were tested once. CSF levels of neurofilament heavy (pNFH), amyloid precursor proteins (sAPPα and sAPPβ), ApoE and ApoA1 were analyzed. In blood, plasma levels of Aβ42 and ApoE genotype were analyzed.

RESULTS: CSF levels of pNFH were significantly increased between 1 and 6 days after boxing as compared with controls (p
CONCLUSIONS: Subconcussive repetitive trauma in amateur boxing causes a mild TBI that may be diagnosed by CSF analysis of pNFH, even without unconsciousness or concussion symptoms. Possession of the APOE ε4 allele was not found to influence biomarker levels after acute TBI.

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Authors

  • Sanna Neselius

  • Henrik Zetterberg

  • Kaj Blennow

  • Jan Marcusson

  • Helena Brisby

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