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DOI: 10.1101/2023.04.03.23288079

The effects of a dietary supplement on brain function and structure in Junior A ice hockey players: a prospective randomized trial

L. T.Breuer S. D. Fickling D. A. Krause ...+3 M. J. Stuart
BackgroundNeurocognitive impairment linked to head impact exposure in otherwise healthy, non-concussed athletes may be associated with adverse long-term outcomes. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a dietary supplement, SynaquellTM, supports brain function and structure in male Junior A ice hockey players over the course of a season.MethodsPlayers underwent pre-season testing, were randomized into a placebo or dietary supplement group, then were retested after the season. Objective tests included: NeuroCatch(R) portable evoked potential platform, King-Devick Test of rapid number naming, and blood biomarker assay for neurofilament light chain (NfL).ResultsMultivariate analysis revealed significant differences in neurocognitive changes between groups from pre to postseason after controlling for covariates related to head impact exposure. Post-hoc tests showed significant within-subject differences between groups from pre- to post-season in both N100 latency (p = 0.005) and King-Devick score (p = 0.043). Univariate tests of the NeuroCatch results replicated prior findings of a N400 amplitude decrease (p = 0.017) and N100 latency increase (p = 0.049) in the placebo group, but not in the dietary supplement group.ConclusionsThis prospective, randomized trial showed that, compared to the placebo group, a multi-ingredient dietary supplement significantly affected objective measures of brain function and structure in Junior A ice hockey players from pre- to post-season. Further investigation into the effects of dietary supplementation on the contact athletes brain is warranted.