Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The influence of collegiate football on congnitive functioning as determined by the Standard Assessment of Concussion (SAC[superscript TM]) test Public Deposited

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  • Objective: To investigate neurocognitive effects of collegiate football players as assessed by the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC™) testing battery and a self-reported concussion symptoms checklist. Design and Setting: We used a one-way MANOVA to evaluate differences in SAC™ test scores between intercollegiate football players with no history of concussion and an age and gender-matched control group of college students not participating in collisionlcontact sports. A 2 x 2 (Group x Time) betweenlwithin ANOVA was used to compare SAC™ pretest/posttest scores among 10 collegiate football players and 10 age and gender-matched controls. Dependent variables were the modified SAC™ score, three SAC™ subscale scores (Immediate Memory, Concentration, Delayed Recall), and a self-reported concussion symptoms checklist. A Chi-square analysis was used to determine the significance of differences in self-reported concussion symptoms between groups. Subjects: Sixty-seven male collegiate volunteers (34 football players, 33 controls) with no history of concussions were tested. A subgroup of 10 intercollegiate football players and 10 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the 3-month pretest!posttest aspect of this study. Measurements: For the first part of the study, both football and control volunteers were tested in the 2003 football postseason, within one week following the fmal regular season or playoff game. For the second part of the study, 10 freshmen or transfer football players and 10 age- and gender-matched control subjects received the SAC™ in a pretest/posttest protocol with 3 months between tests. Results: Using a one-way MANOVA. we found that the Football group had a higher mean score (3.85 ± 0.99) than the Control group (3.27 ± 1.15) for the SAC™ Concentration subscale (F = 4.90, p <0.03). The two-way mixed design ANOVA results indicated significant main effects of Group for the Immediate Memory and Concentration subscales. For Immediate Memory, the Control group had a higher mean score (15.0 ± 0) than did the Football group (14.5 ± 0.82). For Concentration, the Football group had a higher mean score (4.2 ± 0.90) than did the Control group (3.5 ± 0.94, p < 0.05). A significant difference was also found between groups for self-reported symptoms using a Chi-square analysis with a Phi coefficient of 0.33 (p < 0.01). Nine of the 34 football players reported having headaches; only 1 of the 33 controls reported a headache. Conclusions: Football players scored no worse than age and gender-matched controls with a single administration of the SAC™ test, and scored significantly better on the Concentration subscale. As quantified by a modified SAC™ test, no short-term neurocognitive deficits could be attributed to participation in one season of NCAA Division III intercollegiate football. However, football players reported significantly more headaches than did the controls. The long-term sequelae of these headaches are currently unknown. Key Words: head injury, athletics, mild traumatic brain injury
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