Monitoring the acute and subacute recovery of cognitive ocular motor changes after a sports-related concussion

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Abstract

Identifying when recovery from a sports-related concussion (SRC) has occurred remains a challenge in clinical practice. This study investigated the utility of ocular motor (OM) assessment to monitor recovery post-SRC between sexes and compared to common clinical measures. From 139 preseason baseline assessments (i.e. before they sustained an SRC), 18 (12 males, 6 females) consequent SRCs were sustained and the longitudinal follow-ups were collected at 2, 6, and 13 days post-SRC. Participants completed visually guided, antisaccade (AS), and memory-guided saccade tasks requiring a saccade toward, away from, and to a remembered target, respectively. Changes in latency (processing speed), visual-spatial accuracy, and errors were measured. Clinical measures included The Sports Concussion Assessment Tool, King-Devick test, Stroop task, and Digit span. AS latency was significantly longer at 2 days and returned to baseline by 13-days post-SRC in females only (P < 0.001). Symptom numbers recovered from 2 to 6 days and 13 days (P < 0.05). Persistently poorer AS visual-spatial accuracy was identified at 2, 6 and 13 days post-SRC (P < 0.05) in both males and females but with differing trajectories. Clinical measures demonstrated consistent improvement reminiscent of practice effects. OM saccade assessment may have improved utility in tracking recovery compared to conventional measures and between sexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5276-5288
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume33
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

Keywords

  • biomarker
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • return to play
  • saccades
  • sex

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