A study was recently published noting that Olympic boxers had retinal changes compared to a control group not involved in contact sports suggesting this may hold value as a biomarker in determining when an athlete has been exposed to too much career head trauma.
In the recent study titled “Investigating possible retinal biomarkers of head trauma in 4 Olympic boxers using optical coherence tomography (OCT)” the authors measured macula and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness in UK Olympic boxers in intervals 18 months apart. Similar measurements were taken from a control group not involved in contact sports.
The results showed “thinner macula 41 sectors and RNFL quadrants in Olympic boxers compared to controls.“. These changes were “an unexpected finding in otherwise healthy elite sportsmen” leading the authors to conclude that “OCT may prove clinically useful as a candidate retinal biomarker of neuropathological change after mild traumatic brain injury and/or repeat head blows.”
The full study can be found here: Investigating possible retinal biomarkers of head trauma