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Changes in Cortical Plasticity in Relation to a History of Concussion during Adolescence
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    Adolescence and early adulthood is a critical period for neurophysiological development potentially characterized by an increased susceptibility to the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury. The current study investigated differences in motor cortical physiology and neuroplastic potential across a cohort of young adults with adolescent concussion history and those without. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to assess motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude, short-interval cortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) before and after intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS). Pre-iTBS, MEP amplitude, but not SICI or ICF, was greater in the concussion history group. Post-iTBS, the expected increase in MEP amplitude and ICF was tempered in the concussion history group. Change in SICI was variable within the concussion history group. Post hoc assessment revealed that SICI was significantly lower in individuals whose concussion was not diagnosed at the time of injury compared to both those without a concussion history or whose concussion was medically diagnosed. Concussive impacts during adolescence appear to result in a persistent reduction of the ability to modulate facilitatory motor networks. Failure to report/identify concussive impacts close to injury during adolescence also appears to produce persistent change in inhibitory networks. These findings highlight the potential long-term impact of adolescent concussion upon motor cortical physiology.

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    P30 AG024824/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
    R49 CE002099/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
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