Adolescent athletes with a history of seizures report a greater number of symptoms at baseline compared to matched controls

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2014 Mar;


Sandel, N., M. R. Lovell, G. Solomon and P. Schatz.



Objective: The current study aimed to examine symptom reporting at baseline in a group of adolescent athletes with a reported history of seizures and/or epilepsy. Participants and Methods: A total of 128 athletes (71 males and 51 females) aged 13 to 18 years old (M = 15.20, SD = 1.50) with a reported history of seizures/epilepsy were compared to control athletes carefully matched based on age, gender, handedness, education level, and sport played. All demographic and symptom data were collected retrospectively through embedded questions in the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test battery, which contains the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS), a 7-point Likert scale detailing 22 common post-concussive symptoms that yields a total symptom score. Generally, a greater symptom score reflects greater severity and/or number of symptoms experienced. Results: An independent-samples t-test revealed that on average, athletes with a history of seizures report a significantly greater symptom total (M = 4.83, SD = 7.67) compared to matched controls (M= 2.82, SD= 4.06) at baseline testing t(192.943) = 2.618, p = .010. Descriptive statistics revealed that the most common symptoms reported by athletes with a history of seizures are fatigue (23%), trouble falling asleep (23%), and sleeping less than usual (21%). Conclusions: Athletes with a reported history of seizures/epilepsy may report a greater severity of symptoms than matched controls at baseline testing.

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