The Effects of Sports-Related Concussion in College Athletes.
SourceArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Google Scholar check
MetadataShow full item record
Objectives: To determine the sensitivity of a neuropsychologic test battery in detecting effects of concussion, to assess the time required for an injured athlete to return to baseline neuropsychologic performance, and to evaluate the incidence of mild traumatic brain injury across player positions in football. Design: Prospective study, repeated-measures design. Setting: University speech and hearing clinic. Participants: 266 athletes from 5 varsity sports at Miami University participated. Ages ranged from 17 to 22 (mean, 18.4) years. Interventions: The experimental tasks included the Pittsburgh Steelers Neuropsychological Battery, a Post-Concussion Rating Scale, and a concussion questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures: Data were collected from injured athletes between 4 hours and 30 days postinjury, with a mean of 7.3 days for the first testing and 13.9 days for the second testing postinjury. Results: Statistical analyses indicate that the Trail-Making Test, part A, and the grooved pegboard test (dominant trial) were the most sensitive tests in detecting decline. Both tests require speed of processing, attention, and motor throughput. Furthermore, analyses showed that the reported symptoms of concussion differed significantly from baseline symptomatology. Concussion symptoms included headache, dizziness, fatigue, and others. The mean length of time for recovery and return to baseline was 10.07 days for the entire sample and 7.36 days for those athletes with baseline data. Athletes in offensive football positions had twice the risk to sustain a concussion as compared with players in defensive positions. Conclusions: The present neuropsychologic battery is an effective method to monitor concussed athletes. Most athletes recover from a concussion within 7 to 10 days. The postconcussion rating scale provides useful subjective information when used with objective cognitive measures. There is a difference in the incidence of concussion per player position in football. Players in high-risk positions should be monitored closely.