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Concussion in Professional Football: Recovery of NFL and High School Athletes Assessed by Computerized Neuropsychological TestingPart 12

Pellman, Elliot J. M.D.; Lovell, Mark R. Ph.D.; Viano, David C. Dr. Med., Ph.D.; Casson, Ira R. M.D.

doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000200272.56192.62
Clinical Studies: Neuropsychology: Sports: Trauma

OBJECTIVE: Acute recovery from concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) is assessed in samples of NFL and high school athletes evaluated within days of injury.

METHODS: All athletes were evaluated within days of injury using a computer-based neuropsychological test and symptom inventory protocol. Test performance was compared to preinjury baseline levels of a similar but not identical group of athletes who had undergone preseason testing. Statistical analyses were completed using Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA).

RESULTS: NFL athletes demonstrated a rapid neuropsychological recovery. As a group, NFL athletes returned to baseline performance in a week with the majority of athletes having normal performance two days after injury. High school athletes demonstrated a slower recovery than NFL athletes.

CONCLUSION: Computer-based neuropsychological testing was used within the overall medical evaluation and care of NFL athletes. As found in a prior study using more traditional neuropsychological testing, NFL players did not demonstrate decrements in neuropsychological performance beyond one week of injury. High school players demonstrated more prolonged neuropsychological effects of concussion.

ProHEALTH Care Associates, LLP, Lake Success, New York (Pellman)

Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Lovell)

ProBiomechanics LLC, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Viano)

Department of Neurology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (Casson)

Reprint requests: David C. Viano, Dr. Med., Ph.D., ProBiomechanics LLC, 265 Warrington Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2952. Email:

Received, February 14, 2005.

Accepted, May 13, 2005.

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons