Gender differences during baseline and post-concussion symptom reporting and cognitive testing in high school and college athletes

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2004 Jan;

10(s1):157.

Podell, K., M. R. Lovell, M. W. Collins and G. L. Iverson.

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Abstract:

The recent surge in sports concussion research has lead to advances targeting basic neuroscience, phenomenology, and clinical application. These findings are changing the way we conceptualize, measure, and treat sports concussions. For example, the trend towards individualized assessment and treatment rather than depending upon standard, one size fits all, guidelines is one example of how recent research has changed how we approach sports concussion. One important clinical area that has not been explored is gender differences. While we know that male and female cognitive abilities can differ in some aspects of formal neuropsychological abilities, we are unsure how this translates in the area of sports concussion. It is unknown if a gender difference exists for baseline cognitive skills, base-rate symptom reporting, post-concussive symptom reporting and cognitive deficits, or even recovery rate. We present data on gender differences in both high school and college athletes from over 1,800 athletes who underwent baseline computerized assessment using ImPACT during the 2000-2002 seasons. Of these, 400 athletes sustained an in-season concussion and were followed with post-concussion testing. Data addressing gender differences in both high school and college athletes will be presented for both baseline and post-concussion symptom reporting and cognitive performance. Possible mechanisms and implications for clinical application will also be discussed.

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