Genetic research on concussions is progressing in many different avenues. However, researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Specialty Day, believe there may be a new genetic connection regarding recovery rates following a sports-related concussion.
“Athletes carrying a specific genotype (CACNA1E rs704326) in our study were found to have a much greater risk of a prolonged recovery following concussion,” said lead author, Jane McDevitt, PhD from Temple University in Philadelphia. “Athletes who also reported having balance issues/deficits were also more likely to take a longer time to recover.”
McDevitt and her team analyzed information from 40 athletes with a diagnosed concussion from a hospital concussion program. Researchers further evaluated the concussion injury characteristics, acute signs, symptoms and then objective screenings, such as vestibular ocular assessments, balance error scoring, and Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing exam. In addition, study participants provided a salivary sample to isolate certain DNA.
“We need to perform additional research but we think there may be a connection between the genetic proteins and the increase of calcium which leads to the deficits in recovery,” said McDevitt.