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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
Title: Investigating the Impacts of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Cognitive and Neurophysiological Measures in Former Athletes
Author(s): Garnes, Brannon
Supervisor(s): Di Virgilio, Thomas
Hunter, Angus
Keywords: Concussion
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Issue Date: Oct-2021
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Background: The long-term implications of sport-related concussion is a topic of growing concern. Although cognitive and motor impairments have been demonstrated in former athletes, an effective treatment for long-term concussion impairments is still unknown. Due to the key roles they play within the brain, omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FAs) have been suggested as a possible solution however, no studies involving a human population have taken place. Objectives: This study seeks to determine the effects of 8-week ω-3 FA supplementation on measures of cognition and neurophysiological control in former athletes who have suffered concussion compared to control. Methods: Six healthy former contact-sport athletes (who had suffered at least one concussion during their career), and 10 age-matched controls were recruited for the study. Participants first attended a familiarisation session to combat possible learning effects. Measures of corticomotor inhibition and corticospinal excitability (using transcranial magnetic stimulation) in the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis were obtained at baseline and at 4- and 8-weeks post ω-3 FA supplementation. Cognitive function was assessed at the same timepoints using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), tests used were; Paired Associates Learning (PAL), Verbal Recognition Memory (VRM), Reaction Time (RTI), Cambridge Gambling Test (CGT), Multitasking Test (MTT), Spatial Working Memory (SWM) and Stockings of Cambridge (SOC). Results: No significant effects were detected in corticomotor inhibition post-supplementation. Significant group effects were observed in corticospinal excitability in the vastus lateralis but no time or interaction effects. Significant group effects were also detected in the PAL and RTI tests. Conclusion: This study failed to demonstrate any significant impacts of ω-3 fatty acid supplementation on cognition and neurophysiological control in former athletes who had suffered concussion.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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