Age and Gender Differences in Youth Sports Concussion

J Int Neuropsychol Soc -


Dorflinger, J., A. Gretencord, A. Mion and S. Aylward.



Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the post-acute stage of sports-related concussion in male and female children and adolescents. Participants and Methods: The study is part of an on-going project. At this point, there are approximately 78 children between 10 and 18 years (42 males, 36 females; m=14 years) who were diagnosed with concussion and referred to our post-concussive management clinic in a medical center. Aproxximately 50 more patients are expected. A brief concussion-specific neuropsychological evaluation was conducted. The measures were Auditory Consonant Trigrams (ACT); Conners’ Continuous Performance Test, 2nd edition (CPT-II); Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT); Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT); Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement, Third Edition (WCJ-III) math and reading fluency; and parent and self-report of the Behavior Assessment System for Children, 2nd edition (BASC2) and Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF). Results: Preliminary regression equations indicate that females performed significantly worse on the ACT, CPT-II variability, and WCJIII math fluency. Females self-reported significantly more symptoms on BRIEF scales: emotional control, plan/organize, organization of materials, and task completion, resulting in significantly higher scores for Metacognition and Global Executive Composite. Although there were some significant gender differences on the BASC-II parent and self-report and BRIEF parent report, all scores were average. Age was identified as a moderator for the ImPACT Verbal Memory and Visual Memory. Female performance on Verbal Memory increased with age, while male performance decreased with age on both measures. Conclusions: Preliminary data with this on-going study indicate that there are differences between girls and boys who sustained a concussion, and the youth’s age may be a moderator of some post-concussion cognitive deficits.

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