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Is There a Correlation Between Force and Cognitive Function Changes in Student Athletes Playing College Football?
Stephen Kaminski, MD, Jonathan Grotts, MA and Susan Houlihan-Davis, AT, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara CA

Abstract:
Background: Sports related head trauma, or concussion, is important in youth athletes. Exposure to repetitive force may have adverse long-term effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between force and cognitive function during a college football season. Methods: After obtaining institutional review board approval, data was collected during the fall 2014 season. Force data was obtained using Triax SIM-G� sensors. Changes in cognitive function were assessed through ImPACT� testing performed pre and post season. Results: 40 students were included in the study. 6 participants had incomplete data and were excluded. For the remaining 34 athletes the means for age and the number of hits experienced during the season were 19.5 and 80.1 respectively. Means for per player maximum events of linear acceleration, rotational acceleration and rotational velocity were 81.6 Gs, 12.8 krad/s2 and 42.8 rad/sec. Mean per player cumulative linear acceleration was 3628.8 Gs. 3 patients (8.8%) reported concussions. The mean preseason cognitive efficiency index was 0.3. There was no statistically significant observed decline in cognitive function between pre and post season testing. No decline was observed when comparing high hit count groups to low hit count groups. There was also no observed decline when comparing groups sustaining high force to low force, either as individual or cumulative events. Conclusion: There was no observed relationship between force and cognitive function. Further study is necessary to explore this potential relationship in sports related head trauma.
Objective:
At the end of this activity the learner will be able describe the relationship between force and cognitive function in concussion
Objective Content: The objective content will include a review of existing knowledge related to the effects of force on the brain. The objective content will add to the existing knowledge by including data on an objective measure of cognitive function.


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