Neuropsychological and Neurobehavioral Sequelae of Concussion

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2006 May;


McClincy, M., J. Pardini, M. R. Lovell, V. Fazio and M. W. Collins.



Objective: Several recent studies have suggested that cognitive deficits may linger after the amelioration of overt symptomatology following sports related concussion. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between subjective reports of feeling slowed down on a symptom inventory to neurocognitive performance on visuo-motor speed tasks (e.g., objective evidence of slowing) in the concussion recovery process. Participants and Methods : The ImPACT test battery was administered to 104 male high school and collegiate athletes, within seven days of sustaining a concussion. The ImPACT visuo-motor speed composite and patient report of feeling slowed down were analyzed to detect significant differences in time required to achieve full return to baseline performance. Results : Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to ensure that initial departure from baseline after injury and subsequent recovery was demonstrated in both the visuo-motor speed score and athlete report of feeling slowed down. Subsequent post-hoc testing (using the Bonferroni distribution to strictly compensate for subject variance) was performed to determine if statistically significant differences existed between baseline and post-concussion testing sessions. The repeated measures ANOVAs were highly significant for each of the dependent variables (for Visuo-motor speed, F (3,309) = 26.01, p<.01; for feeling slowed down, F(2.294) = 45.98, p <.01). Regarding differences between baseline and post-concussion testing sessions, significant deficits were found in visuo-motor speed at two days post concussion (p<.01). Feeling Slowed Down reporting showed a significant difference from baseline at days two and seven post-injury (ps < .01). Conclusions : Our conclusions are interesting given that the symptom report of feeling slowed down outlasted the impairment of visuo-motor speed as determined by neuropsychological testing. This finding challenges published research suggesting that cognitive deficits outlast self-reported symptoms.

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