Do Concussion History and Gender Influence Neurocognitive Testing Performance
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BACKGROUND: To date, the literature regarding sport concussion (SC) has concentrated primarily on male athletes. Generally, as research on female athletics has increased, there is an overall agreement that female athletes show more impairment post-injury than males. However, more data are needed to determine how SC impacts the female athlete and if that impact is influenced by factors such as age or history of prior concussion. SUBJECTS: Subjects with and without a previous history of concussion at the high school and college level were included and carefully matched for age, gender, height, and weight. After careful matching, five high school athletes with a history of prior SC were compared with five high school athletes without a concussion history, and 14 college athletes with a history of prior SC were compared with 14 matched college athletes without a concussion history. METHOD: Data for this study were acquired from a larger study conducted at the University of Texas at Arlington that examined sport concussion in high school and college athletes. Variables included previous concussion history and baseline scores from the ImPACT test. It was hypothesized that female athletes with a previous SC would show more impairment on baseline neurocognitive measures and would report greater symptom severity at baseline testing compared to athletes without a prior SC. In addition, it was hypothesized that female athletes with a previous SC at the high school level would show more impairment on baseline neurocognitive measures than college athletes with prior SC and that high school players would show greater symptom severity compared to college athletes at baseline. RESULTS: No significant differences were seen on any ImPACT baseline composite scores between athletes with and without a reported history of prior concussion. Similarly, no differences on ImPACT baseline total symptom scores were seen between athletes with concussion versus without a history of prior concussion. Finally, there were no differences on ImPACT composite or total symptom scores between college and high school athletes.