If Not Now, When? An Absence of Neurocognitive and Postural Stability Deficits in Collegiate Athletes with One or More Concussions

Rosenblum, D. J., Walton, S. R., Erdman, N. K., Broshek, D. K., Hart, J. M., & Resch, J. E..



A history of concussion has been associated with decreased neurocognitive function and postural control. The purpose of our study was to compare neurocognitive function and postural control in collegiate athletes with and without varying histories of concussion. Collegiate athletes were divided into groups based on 0 (n = 129), 1 (n = 91), 2 (n = 52), and 3+ (n = 34) prior concussions. Participants in each group were carefully matched by sport, sex, height, weight, and age. Athletes were administered the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT™) and the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) as part of a standard of care pre-season assessment. Group ImPACT (Verbal and Visual Memory, Visual Motor Speed, and Reaction Time) and SOT (Equilibrium Score and Somatosensory, Visual, and Vestibular sensory ratios) outcome scores were compared using one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Coefficients of variation (CVs) were also calculated for each outcome score and were compared using two-sample tests with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Participants with and without a history of concussion were not significantly different for any ImPACT or SOT outcome score (p’s > 0.10). Groups (0, 1, 2, and 3+ previous concussions) were not different from each other for any ImPACT or SOT outcome score (p’s ≥ 0.11). Likewise, the CVs associated with each ImPACT and SOT outcome score did not vary significantly between outcome scores for any group comparison (p ≥ 0.09). Our findings suggest that a history of one or more concussions does not influence neurocognitive performance or postural stability in collegiate athletes at their pre-season baseline assessment.

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