Research Reports - Sport-related concussion and sensory function in young adults

J Athl Train. 2014 Jan-Feb;49(1):36-41

Moore RD, Broglio SP, Hillman CH

Context: The long-term implications of concussive injuries for brain and
cognitive health represent a growing concern in the public consciousness. As
such, identifying measures sensitive to the subtle yet persistent effects of
concussive injuries is warranted. Objective: To investigate how concussion
sustained early in life influences visual processing in young adults. We
predicted that young adults with a history of concussion would show decreased
sensory processing, as noted by a reduction in P1 event-related potential
component amplitude. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Research laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants: Thirty-six adults (18 with a history of
concussion, 18 controls) between the ages of 20 and 28 years completed a
pattern-reversal visual evoked potential task while event-related potentials were
recorded. Main Outcome Measure(s): The groups did not differ in any demographic
variables (all P values > .05), yet those with a concussive history exhibited
reduced P1 amplitude compared with the control participants (P = .05).
Conclusions: These results suggest that concussion history has a negative effect
on visual processing in young adults. Further, upper-level neurocognitive
deficits associated with concussion may, in part, result from less efficient
downstream sensory capture.

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