Neurocognitive and somatic recovery curves following concussion in female interscholastic soccer players

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Abstract

Objective

To measure the acute effects of SRC on cognition and symptoms over a 7-day time course in interscholastic female soccer players.

Design

Prospective.

Setting

Soccer fields.

Participants

36 interscholastic female soccer players were equally divided into concussed [CON] (age 16.3±1.4 yr.) and non-concussed [NOCON] (age 16.1±1.3 yr.) groups.

Intervention

A 17-item SRC-symptom checklist was completed resulting in a total symptom score (SX). Neurocognitive performance [ANAM] throughput scores [higher scores better] (SRT1, SRT2, MSP, MTH, CPT1, CPT2, ST6) was also measured. The CON and NOCON were evaluated on five occasions: baseline, day 1 [D1], day 3 [D3], day 5 [D5], and day 7 [D7].

Outcome measures

Data from the 8 outcome variables were analysed using the multivariate approach to a repeated measures ANOVA

Main results

Significant (p<0.05) deficits in throughput scores in the CON, including SRT1 (222.0 vs 200.3 – D7) and SRT2 (224.4 vs. 209.3 – D7), MSP (42.9 vs 38.8 – D7), and ST6 (83.8 vs. 75.1 – D5) as well as SX (9.1 vs. 12.8 – D5) existed across the 7 day recovery period. Differences between baseline and D1 existed for CPT and MTH scores but they surpassed the baseline on D3.

Conclusions

CON subjects exhibited robust symptoms and neurocognitive deficits in the days immediately following SRC. Similar to American football, our recovery curves represent an initial decline with gradual improvements in the days succeeding post-injury and reinforce the need for clinicians to be cautious in the 7-day period post-concussion and depend on cognitive rest to aid recovery.

Competing interests

None.

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