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Effects of Postural Stability and Neurocognitive Function in Sports Concussion Injuries

by Maxwell, Stacey Ann

Abstract (Summary)
Objective: To determine the differences in postural stability measures and neurocognitive function between sport-related concussion, also known as mild head injury (MHI), subjects and healthy subjects. To determine the correlating factors of postural stability and neurocognitive function. Design and Setting: This descriptive study design assessed postural stability and neurocognitive function within 7 days of athletes sustaining a sport-related MHI and compared the group to a control group of healthy subjects. All testing was completed at the University of Pittsburgh Neuromuscular Research Laboratory. Subjects: Twenty subjects (10 healthy, 10 MHI) participated. Measurements: All subjects completed a single testing session consisting of a computerized neurocognitive test and postural stability assessment, including kinematics and force plate data collection, during which two balance tasks were performed three times each. Results: There were no significant differences in postural stability between groups. There were no significant differences in neurocognitive function. Additionally, no relationship existed between postural stability and neurocognitive function. Conclusions: Although not significant, hip flexion and extension was larger in the control subjects, indicating that there may be difficulty for MHI subjects to adopt either a hip or ankle strategy to maintain postural stability. While no significance was found in the study, there may be trends to suggest that visual memory (p=0.11) and reaction time (p=0.17) are different. The low number of subjects and time of testing with relation to injury may be contributing factors in the lack of significant results in the majority of test variables.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Joseph B. Myers, PhD, ATC; Michael W. Collins, PhD; Timothy C. Sell, PhD, PT; Scott M. Lephart, PhD, ATC

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:health and rehabilitation sciences

ISBN:

Date of Publication:04/08/2005

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