Examining Postconcussion Symptoms of Dizziness and Imbalance on Neurocognitive Performance in Collegiate Football Players

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This study examined the effects of symptom reports of dizziness and imbalance on cognitive function in concussed collegiate football players.


Retrospective, descriptive.


University athletic medicine facility.


Twenty-seven collegiate football players were included in the final analysis: 16 with symptoms of dizziness/imbalance resulting from concussion and 11 without dizziness/imbalance resulting from concussion.

Main Outcome Measures

Participants completed the Immediate Postconcussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) at baseline, at 1 to 2 days postconcussion and 5 to 7 days postconcussion. The ImPACT neurocognitive assessment consists of 6 modules, yielding 4 composite scores: verbal memory, visual memory, visual-motor processing speed, and reaction time. In addition, it includes a postconcussion symptom scale total score.


Results revealed that participants with reports of dizziness and imbalance had significantly lower scores on the ImPACT composite scores; however, these individuals also had an overall higher symptom inventory. When accounting for the additional postconcussion symptoms, time was the only significant effect.


Dizziness and imbalance are common symptoms postconcussion; however, these symptoms did not predict performance on acute ImPACT scores. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms causing postconcussion symptoms, including symptoms of dizziness and imbalance, and influence on outcomes postconcussion.

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