Sex differences in vestibular/ocular and neurocognitive outcomes after sport-related concussion

Clin J Sport Med -


Sufrinko, A. M., Mucha, A., Covassin, T., Marchetti, G., Elbin, R. J., Collins, M. W. and Kontos, A. P..



OBJECTIVE: To examine sex differences in vestibular and oculomotor symptoms and impairment in athletes with sport-related concussion (SRC). The secondary purpose was to replicate previously reported sex differences in total concussion symptoms, and performance on neurocognitive and balance testing. DESIGN: Prospective cross-sectional study of consecutively enrolled clinic patients within 21 days of a SRC. SETTING: Specialty Concussion Clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Included male (n = 36) and female (n = 28) athletes ages 9 to 18 years. INTERVENTIONS: Vestibular symptoms and impairment was measured with the Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS). Participants completed the Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT), Post-concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS), and Balance Error Scoring System (BESS). MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: Sex differences on clinical measures. RESULTS: Females had higher PCSS scores (P = 0.01) and greater VOMS vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) score (P = 0.01) compared with males. There were no sex differences on BESS or ImPACT. Total PCSS scores together with female sex accounted for 45% of the variance in VOR scores. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest higher VOR scores after SRC in female compared with male athletes. Findings did not extend to other components of the VOMS tool suggesting that sex differences may be specific to certain types of vestibular impairment after SRC. Additional research on the clinical significance of the current findings is needed.PMID: 27379660 PMCID: PMC5203982 DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000324

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