Structural and functional connectivity (FC) after sports-related concussion (SRC) may remain altered in adolescent athletes despite symptom resolution. Little is known, however, about how alterations in structural connectivity and FC co-present in female athletes whose symptom recovery tends to be prolonged. Despite resolution of symptoms, one month after her second SRC, an 18-year-old female athlete had decreased structural connectivity in the corpus callosum and cingulum, with altered FC near those regions, compared with other SRC and orthopedically injured athletes. Findings show persistent effects of SRC on advanced brain imaging and the possibility of greater vulnerability of white matter tracts in females.
Keywords: female athlete; functional connectivity; sports-related concussion; structural connectivity; traumatic brain injury.