REPIMPACT - a prospective longitudinal multisite study on the effects of repetitive head impacts in youth soccer

for the REPIMPACT Consortium Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Repetitive head impacts (RHI) are common in youth athletes participating in contact sports. RHI differ from concussions; they are considered hits to the head that usually do not result in acute symptoms and are therefore also referred to as “subconcussive” head impacts. RHI occur e.g., when heading the ball or during contact with another player. Evidence suggests that exposure to RHI may have cumulative effects on brain structure and function. However, little is known about brain alterations associated with RHI, or about the risk factors that may lead to clinical or behavioral sequelae. REPIMPACT is a prospective longitudinal study of competitive youth soccer players and non-contact sport controls aged 14 to 16 years. The study aims to characterize consequences of exposure to RHI with regard to behavior (i.e., cognition, and motor function), clinical sequelae (i.e., psychiatric and neurological symptoms), brain structure, function, diffusion and biochemistry, as well as blood- and saliva-derived measures of molecular processes associated with exposure to RHI (e.g., circulating microRNAs, neuroproteins and cytokines). Here we present the structure of the REPIMPACT Consortium which consists of six teams of clinicians and scientists in six countries. We further provide detailed information on the specific aims and the design of the REPIMPACT study. The manuscript also describes the progress made in the study thus far. Finally, we discuss important challenges and approaches taken to overcome these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-502
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Education of Slovak RepublicAPVV-17-0668
Sport VlaanderenD3392
Slovenská Akadémia Vied
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
Fonds Wetenschappelijk OnderzoekG0H2217N
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Norges Forskningsråd
Ministry of Health, State of Israel3–13898
Vlaamse regering


    • Repetitive head impacts
    • Soccer
    • Sport-related brain injury
    • Youth athletes


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