Concussed high school athletes who receive neuropsychological testing sidelined longer

Dec 15, 2010

When computerized neuropsychological testing is used, high school athletes suffering from a sports-related concussion are less likely to be returned to play within one week of their injury, according to a study in The American Journal of Sports Medicine. Unfortunately, concussed football players are less likely to have computerized neuropsychological testing than those participating in other sports.

A total of 544 concussions were recorded by the High School Reporting Information Online surveillance system during the 2008-2009 school year. Researchers looked at each of those instances to see what caused the injury, what sport was being played, what symptoms were experienced, what type of testing was used, and how soon the athletes returned to play. When looking at the causes and duration of concussions, the research found that:

  • 76.2% of the concussions were caused by contact with another player, usually a head-to-head collision
  • 93.4% of concussions caused a ; 4.6% caused loss of consciousness
  • 83.4% experienced resolution of their symptoms within a week, while 1.5% had symptoms that lasted longer than a month
Computerized neuropsychological testing was used in 25.7% of concussions, and in those cases, athletes were less likely to return to play within one week, than those athletes for whom it was not used. Interestingly, however, researchers found that injured football players were less likely to be examined using the computerized neuropsychological testing than injured athletes participating in other sports.

"Although it is now recognized as one of 'the cornerstones of concussion evaluation,' routine neuropsychological testing in the setting of sports-related concussion is a relatively new concept," write the authors, William P. Meehan III, MD, Pierre d'Hemecourt, MD, and R. Dawn Comstock, PhD. "This is the first study, of which we are aware, to query the use of computerized neuropsychological testing in high using a large, nationally representative sample."

Explore further: Brazil to study legalization of medical marijuana

More information: "High School Concussions in the 2008-2009 Academic Year: Mechanism, Symptoms, and Management" in the December 2010 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine is available free for a limited time at ajs.sagepub.com/content/38/12/2405.full

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NFL players with concussions now sidelined longer

Oct 12, 2010

NFL players with concussions now stay away from the game significantly longer than they did in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to research in Sports Health. The mean days lost with concussion increased from 1.92 d ...

Athletes face tough hits, players susceptible to concussions

Sep 22, 2010

With the recent deaths of football players top of mind, parents and coaches should always be mindful of the risks of concussions. Kim Gorgens, assistant professor and neuropsychologist at the University of Denver (DU), says ...

Concussions change brains

Nov 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The high incidence of concussions in contact sports and the risk of traumatic brain injury are a major cause for concern.

Simple test may help judge concussion in athletes

Feb 15, 2010

A simple test of reaction time may help determine whether athletes have sustained a concussion (also known as mild traumatic brain injury) and when they are ready to play again, according to a study released today that will ...

ER visits for concussions soar among kid athletes

Aug 30, 2010

(AP) -- Emergency room visits for school-age athletes with concussions has skyrocketed in recent years, suggesting the intensity of kids' sports has increased along with awareness of head injuries.

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

18 hours ago

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

20 hours ago

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

Infertility, surrogacy in India

20 hours ago

Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. A World Health Organization report estimates that 60-to-80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.