Investigating possible retinal biomarkers of head trauma in Olympic boxers using optical coherence tomography (OCT)

CHILDS, Charmaine, BARKER, Lynne A., GAGE, Alex M.D. and LOOSEMORE, Mike (2018). Investigating possible retinal biomarkers of head trauma in Olympic boxers using optical coherence tomography (OCT). Eye and Brain, 10, 101-110.

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Purpose: Changes to retina have been reported after a number of neurodegenerative conditions. The purpose of this study was to investigate retinal structures in Olympic boxers exposed to frequent head blows. Methods:Retinal imaging offers potential as a non-invasive biomarkers of neuropathology. Macula and retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness was measured using optical coherence tomography (OCT) in UK Olympic boxers attending two mandatory eye screening programs, 18 months apart. Data from the two eye-screenings provide longitudinal data of retinal change over time. Sedentary healthy subjects (controls) without past or present history of concussion were also screened at the time of the second boxer screening to provide comparison cross-sectional data. Results: Sixteen Olympic boxers aged 20-33 years and 20 sedentary healthy controls, aged 24-45 years were recruited. Significant macula thickening was observed over time (18 months) in 75% of right and 50% of left eye sectors. For RNFL, left eye quadrants thickened. For right eye RNFL quadrants, thickening and thinning of this layer was observed. Cross-sectional results showed thinner macula sectors and RNFL quadrants in Olympic boxers compared to controls. Conclusion: Significant change to macula and RNFL densities, occurring over an 18 month interval is an unexpected finding in otherwise heathy elite sportsmen. In addition, macula and RNFL were thinner than healthy sedentary controls. OCT may prove clinically useful as a candidate retinal biomarker of neuropathological change after mild traumatic brain injury and/or repeat head blows.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1113 Ophthalmology And Optometry; 1109 Neurosciences
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 101-110
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2018 14:08
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 20:17

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