The relationship between acute mood, sleep, and sex on neurocognitive performance post-concussion in adolescents.

Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. 2020 Jun;

8(4_suppl3):.

Stremlau, S., Allred, R. C., Gerkin, R., Erickson, S., & Pardini, J..

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Abstract:

Background:Both sleep disturbance and mood changes are common symptoms post-concussion (Sell & Rubeor, 2017). Studies have found these symptoms are correlated with poorer performance on neurocognitive testing (Kontos et al., 2012 and Kostyun et al., 2015). In addition, Brown et al., (2015) showed that females report more symptoms at both baseline and post-concussion compared to males on the Post-Concussion Scale and the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2.Hypothesis/Purpose:The purpose of this study is to investigate how a patient’s sex, as well as self-reported acute mood and sleep symptoms are related to neurocognitive performance in individuals with concussion.Methods:Data were acquired through IRB-approved retrospective chart review. Composite scores from the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) computerized evaluation and self-reported symptom scores on the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale were gathered for 1619 adolescents age 12-18 (49.3% female) who presented to a large metropolitan outpatient clinic for treatment of concussion.Results:Females endorsed higher overall symptoms (x=19.52, SD 19.37, median 13.0 for females; x=12.88, SD 15.89, median 7.0 for males; Mann-Whitney U Test p<0.001). This same pattern emerged for the mood and sleep symptom clusters (female mood mean=2.92, SD 4.51; male mood mean=1.64, SD 3.34; female sleep mean=1.59, SD 2.0; male sleep mean=1.11, SD 1.84; both Independent Samples Mann-Whitney U Tests ps<0.001).There were significant but modest negative correlations between mood symptoms and performance on verbal memory (r=-0.174), visual memory (r=-0.213), and visual motor speed (r=-0.146) composites (all ps<0.01). There was positive correlation between reaction time composite and mood symptoms (r=0.191). There were significant but modest negative correlations between sleep symptoms and performance on verbal memory (r=-0.171), visual memory (r=-0.184), and visual motor speed (r=-0.161) composites (all ps<0.01). There was a positive correlation between reaction time composite and sleep symptoms (r=0.196, p<0.01).Conclusion:Consistent with prior research, adolescent females reported more symptoms post-concussion, including total symptom score, mood symptoms, and sleep symptoms. Adolescents presenting with more mood and sleep symptoms demonstrated poorer performance on neurocognitive testing. However, given the modest nature of the correlation, a significant amount of variation in test performance is not explained by symptom report. Results from this study underscore the importance of a multidimensional concussion assessment that includes both symptom report and cognitive testing when working with pediatric athletes. This study also reinforces the importance of understanding potential effects of sleep, mood, and sex on concussion.

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