Recovery progression and symptom resolution in sport-related mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2017 Sep;


Abbassi, E. and Sirmon-Taylor, B..


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OBJECTIVE: To characterize the recovery progression of a group of athletes who participated in a concussion management program based on (1) group analysis and (2) individual analysis. SETTING: Concussion management clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty athletes (22 males, 8 females; baseline age = 16.23 +/- 2.40 years) who had undergone four assessments: one baseline and three post-injury assessments at 3, 8, 15 days post-injury. DESIGN: Retrospective clinical. MAIN MEASURES: Four neurocognitive scores of the Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) including verbal memory, visual memory, speed of processing and reaction time and also a total symptom score. RESULTS: Group-analysis showed a clear decline in verbal memory (F(3, 87) = 7.36, p < 0.000) and an increase in self-reported symptoms (chi(2)(3, N = 30) = 48.703, p < 0.000), 3 days post-injury. By day 8, athletes had returned to their baseline levels for verbal memory and were not experiencing symptoms. When athletes' scores were examined individually, at 3 days post-injury, 60% of the athletes showed deficits on two or more of the ImPACT variables. This rate dropped to 23% at 8 days post-injury and remained the same (23%) 15 days post-injury. CONCLUSIONS: In concussion recovery, variability is the rule, rather than the exception, with regard to both impaired neurocognitive functions and recovery duration. KEYWORDS: Cognitive impairments; group analysis; individual analysis; recovery duration; sports-related concussion; symptoms PMID: 28872365 DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1357834

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