Purpose: The participation in concussive susceptible sports such as boxing may cause chronic traumatic brain injury. The objective of this study was to determine whether there are unique patterns of reduced brain glucose metabolism in professional and amateur boxers.
Method: We compared the fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18 FDG) PET brain scans of boxers (group) (N=19) with those of controls (group) (N=7) using both statistical parametric mapping and region of interest analysis.
Results: Boxers showed decreased F-18 FDG uptake by 8-15% in the following brain areas: posterior cingulate cortex, parieto-occipito, frontal lobes (Broca's area) bilaterally, and the cerebellum (P<0.005) as compared with controls.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that F-18 FDG PET scans of boxers suspected of chronic traumatic brain injury show unique patterns of hypometabolism, and that these patterns may reflect the mechanisms of repeated traumatic brain injury unique to boxers.