Subjective, but not objective, lingering effects of multiple past concussions in adolescents

J Neurotrauma -


Brooks, B. L., C. D. McKay, M. Mrazik, K. M. Barlow, W. H. Meeuwisse and C. A. Emery.



The existing literature on lingering effects from concussions in children and adolescents is limited and mixed, and there are no clear answers for patients, clinicians, researchers, or policy makers. The purpose of this study was to examine whether there are lingering effects of past concussions in adolescent athletes. Participants in this study included 643 competitive Bantam and Midget hockey players (most elite 20% by division of play) between 13 and 17 years of age (mean age=15.5, SD=1.2). Concussion history at baseline assessment was retrospectively documented using a pre-season questionnaire (PSQ), which was completed at home by parents and players in advance of baseline testing. Players with English as a second language, self-reported attention or learning disorders, a concussion within 6 months of baseline, or suspected invalid test profiles were excluded from these analyses. Demographically adjusted standard scores for the five composites/domains and raw symptom ratings from the brief Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) computerized battery were analyzed. Adolescent athletes with one or two or more prior concussions did not have significantly worse neurocognitive functioning on ImPACT than did those with no previous concussions. There were significantly more symptoms reported in those with two or more prior concussions than in those with no or one prior concussion. Adolescents with multiple previous concussions had higher levels of baseline symptoms, but there were not group differences in neurocognitive functioning using this brief computerized battery.

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