Brain maturation in adolescent athletes and it's implication for concussion management
As the adolescent brain develops, any event that interrupts the process, such as a concussion, may result in long-term academic and social effects (Dennis & Levin, 2004). To date, there is no specific assessment or protocol published that consider the cognitive and development of the adolescent brain when managing concussion (Patel, et al., 2005). Purpose. to investigate whether there is a statistically significant difference between the composite scores and sub-test scores in the subtests on the ImPACT battery: Word Memory, Design Memory, X's and O's, Symbol Match, Color Match, and Three Letters, of high school male athletes between the ages of 13 to 15 and between the ages of 16–19. Method. A between subject cross sectional design. The first group consists of adolescent athletes ages 13 and 15, and a second group consists of adolescent athletes between ages 16 and 19. Each athlete has previously taken the ImPACT battery as a baseline per requirement for participating in his chosen sport. A non-parametric Mann-Whitney U Test and parametric Independent sample t-test was used to determine whether there is a significant difference between the two groups. The dependent variables are the composite and subtest scores achieved on the 6 subtests on the ImPACT battery. The independent variable is the age difference between the two groups of athletes. Results. There is a statistically significant difference between the two groups on the following composite and subtest scores of the two groups: cognitive efficiency index (z=−2.534, p<.011); verbal memory composite (z=−2.232, p<.026); visual motor speed composite (z=−5.531, p<.000); reaction time composite (z=−5.022, p<.000); color match average correct reaction time (z =−3.758, p<.000); and three letters percent of total letters correct (z=−2.239, p<.025). Result suggests that an athlete's cognitive performance as a young adolescent is significantly different from his performance as an older adolescent as measured by the ImPACT test.
Picone, Jacqueline, "Brain maturation in adolescent athletes and it's implication for concussion management" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1512593.