Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Long-Term Impact of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries on Multiple Functional Outcomes and Epigenetics: A Pilot Study with College Students

Version 1 : Received: 29 January 2020 / Approved: 31 January 2020 / Online: 31 January 2020 (04:28:21 CET)

How to cite: Lee, H.; Lee, S.; Black, I.; Salado, L.; Estrada, J.; Isla, K. The Long-Term Impact of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries on Multiple Functional Outcomes and Epigenetics: A Pilot Study with College Students. Preprints 2020, 2020010374 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202001.0374.v1). Lee, H.; Lee, S.; Black, I.; Salado, L.; Estrada, J.; Isla, K. The Long-Term Impact of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries on Multiple Functional Outcomes and Epigenetics: A Pilot Study with College Students. Preprints 2020, 2020010374 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202001.0374.v1).

Abstract

People who suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) have heterogeneous symptoms and disease trajectories, which make it difficult to precisely diagnose and assess complications long-term. Insufficient information is available regarding how to precisely diagnose and assess mTBI. This study identified and compared deficits in cognitive, psychosocial, visual functions, and balance performance between college students with and without histories of mTBI. Global DNA methylation ratio (5-mC%) in blood was also compared as a peripheral epigenetic marker. Twenty-five volunteers participated in this pilot study, including 11 mTBI cases (27.3% females; mean age of 28.7 years, SD=5.92) and 14 healthy controls (64.3% females; mean age of 22.0, SD=4.13). All the participants were assessed for cognitive (by NIH toolbox—executive function, memory, and processing speed), psychological (by PROMIS—depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances), visual function (by King-Devick and binocular accommodative tests), postural balance performance (by a force plate), and blood 5-mC% (global methylation) levels. Students with mTBI reported significantly poorer episodic memory, severe anxiety, and more sleep disturbance problems. They also had higher blood 5-mC% level (all p’s<.05). No significant differences were found in visual function and postural balance. These findings validate changes in cognitive, psychosocial, and global DNA methylation long after mTBI.

Subject Areas

mild traumatic brain injury; mTBI; concussion; cognitive; sensorimotor; visual; postural balance; methylation; 5-mC%; blood

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