Neuropsychological impairment as a consequence of football (soccer) play and football heading: preliminary analyses and report on university footballers.
ABSTRACT Previous research has claimed neuropsychological impairment occurs as a result of professional and amateur football play, and, specifically, football heading. However, much of this research exhibits substantial methodological problems. By investigating less committed amateur level footballers, the current study sought to gain some insight into the developmental history of any neuropsychological consequences of football play. University football, rugby and noncontact sports players were compared on a range of biographical and neuropsychological test variables. While playing their chosen sports, rugby players sustained many more head injuries than footballers and noncontact sportsmen, but footballers did not sustain significantly more head injuries than noncontact sportsmen. The number of head injuries sustained predicted Trails B and TAP Divided Attention latencies in a positive fashion. After controlling for the number of head injuries sustained, sport group effects were detected with TAP Divided Attention accuracy scores, with footballers exhibiting poorest performance. After controlling for the number of head injuries sustained, the total amount of heading done by footballers predicted the number of Wisconsin Card Sorting category shifts in a negative fashion. Nevertheless, over interpretation of all of these results should be resisted because of the exploratory nature of the analyses and the possibility that the sport groups may differ in ways other than just the nature of their sports activities.
SourceAvailable from: Michael G Hutchison[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Soccer is currently the most popular and fastest-growing sport worldwide. Similar to many sports, soccer carries an inherent risk of injury, including concussion. Soccer is also unique in the use of 'heading'. The present paper provides a comprehensive review of the research examining the incidence, mechanisms, biomarkers of injury and neurocognitive outcomes of concussions and heading in soccer. Methods: Seven databases were searched for articles from 1806 to 24 May 2013. Articles obtained by the electronic search were reviewed for relevance, with 229 selected for review. Ultimately, 49 articles met criteria for inclusion in the present review. Results: Female soccer players have a higher incidence of concussions than males. The most frequent injury mechanism is player-to-player contact for both genders. Few studies examined the effects of concussion in soccer players; however, neurocognitive outcomes were similar to those reported in the larger sport concussion literature, while the effect of heading is less clear. Conclusion: Despite variation in research designs and study characteristics, the outcomes of concussions in soccer align with the greater concussion literature. This review makes recommendations for future research to increase standardization of research for improved understanding of concussions in soccer as well as the effects of heading.Brain Injury 01/2014; DOI:10.3109/02699052.2013.865269 · 1.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: AbstrACt The lack of understanding regarding the symptoms and effects of concussions by athletes and coaches can generate pressure on both the team physicians to diagnose concussions as well as the sport administrators who need to be aware what concussion protocols are being followed. The significance of appropriate diagnosis of a concussion and the return-to-play protocols may be complicated by the number of guidelines available as well as the reliance on the athlete to self-report the symptoms of a concussion. While the grading guidelines have advanced the use of uniform terminology and increased awareness of concussion signs and symptoms, the lack of scientific method in creating the concussion management guidelines called their effectiveness into question. A total of 65 head football athletic trainers were surveyed to determine how medical personnel at selected universities managed the risk of concussions in intercollegiate football. The results indicated that nearly 70% of the respondents indicated that between five to eight football players on their respective teams incurred a concussion during the season. However, no dominant guidelines for assessing a concussion were revealed as none of the guidelines were employed by more than 29% of the population. Finally, 50% did not believe that the same guidelines should be used for an initial concussion assessments or subsequent concussions. Because no two people can be diagnosed in exactly the same way, guidelines may inhibit proper treatment. However, should an error in judgment occur, litigation against the physician, the athletic administrator, and the university may result. Miller, J. J., Wendt, J. T., & Potter, N. (2011). Implications for concussion assessments and return-to-play standards in intercollegiate football: How are the risks managed? Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision 3(1), 91-103. Published online September 2011.
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ABSTRACT: This article reports on three pre- versus post-season prospective studies in which male university and high school contact sport players predominantly of Rugby Union (hereafter rugby) were compared with age, education, and IQ equivalent non-contact sport controls on the ImPACT (Immediate Postconcussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test. All analyses revealed a relative absence of practice effects on the Visual Motor Speed (VMS) composite for contact sport groups compared with controls. The VMS data for rugby players from each study were pooled and subjected to additional analysis (Rugby, n = 145; Controls, n = 106). Controls revealed significant improvement over the season (p < .001), whereas no learning effect was in evidence for rugby players whose performance remained the same (interaction effect, p = .028). It is apparent that practice effects have diagnostic potential in this context, implicating vulnerability on speeded visuomotor processing in association with participation in rugby. Pointers for further research and concussion management in the individual case are explored.Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 08/2013; DOI:10.1093/arclin/act061 · 1.92 Impact Factor