The role of concussion history and gender in recovery from soccer-related concussion

Am J Sports Med. 2009 Sep;

37(9):1699-1704.

Colvin, A. C., J. Mullen, M. R. Lovell, R. V. West, M. W. Collins and M. Groh.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: This study was designed to investigate differences in recovery in male and female soccer athletes. HYPOTHESES: Soccer players with a history of concussion will perform worse on neurocognitive testing than players without a history of concussion. Furthermore, female athletes will demonstrate poorer performance on neurocognitive testing than male athletes. STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study (prognosis): Level of evidence, 2. METHODS: Computer-based neuropsychological testing using reaction time, memory, and visual motor-speed composite scores of the ImPACT test battery was performed postconcussion in soccer players ranging in age from 8 to 24 years (N = 234; 141 females, 93 males). A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to examine group differences in neurocognitive performance between male and female athletes with and without a history of concussion. RESULTS: Soccer players with a history of at least 1 previous concussion performed significantly worse on ImPACT than those who had not sustained a prior concussion (F = 2.92, P =.03). In addition, female soccer players performed worse on neurocognitive testing (F = 2.72, P =.05) and also reported more symptoms (F = 20.1, P =.00001) than male soccer players. There was no significant difference in body mass index between male and female players (F =.04, P =.85). CONCLUSION: A history of concussion and gender may account for significant differences in postconcussive neurocognitive test scores in soccer players and may play a role in determining recovery. These differences do not appear to reflect differences in mass between genders and may be related to other gender-specific factors that deserve further study.

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