Taking Concussion Vital Signs Neurocognitive Test Under Varied Conditions

Authors: Scott L. Bruce, EdD, AT, ATC
Sarah Stauffer, AT, ATC
Andrew Chaney, AT, ATC
Kelsey Garrison, AT, ATC
Wright State University

Corresponding Author:
Scott L. Bruce, EdD, AT, ATC
Assistant Professor/Director of Research
Wright State University
3680 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435

Scott Bruce is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Research for the Athletic Training Program at Wright State University.

Taking Concussion Vital Signs Neurocognitive Test Under Varied Conditions

Neurocognitive test batteries are commonly used tools for concussion assessments in the medical professions. Administered at baseline and post-injury these tests provide information on a patient’s neurocognitive ability during the recovery and return-to-activity phases. In athletics, student-athletes usually take the baseline exam as a group in a computer lab prior to the season beginning. If a medical professional believes an individual has sustained a possible concussion, they will retest them and compare their post-injury and baseline results. A deficit in one of more areas of the neurocognitive test may be indicative of a possible concussion. The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not there was a difference in neurocognitive test scores from Concussion Vital Signs when tested under two different conditions: “lights out” and with distractions. Our study was a randomized control trial performed at a Midwestern NCAA, “mid-major” Division I Institution. The subjects were 15 college-aged students with an overall mean age of 19 years (1.2). There were seven females (mean age was 19 ± 0.77) and eight males (mean age was 20 ± 1.2). A paired t-test was used to determine if a difference in the neurocognitive test section scores between the conditions existed. On three of the ten test sections, there was a statistically significant difference between the baseline and distraction condition. On four of the ten test sections between baseline and the lights out condition for males, but not for females. Testing should be done in a quiet room, with distractions minimized, as distraction hinders focus and performance. The results of this study indicate males may have a more difficult time concentrating while taking neurocognitive tests than females. Administering neurocognitive testing in a quiet, well-lit room is the best condition for the patient to take these concussion-related tests.

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The Reliability and Predictive Ability of the Movement Competency Screen in a Military Population

Milbank, E.J.1, Peterson, D.D.2, Henry, S.M.1,3
1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT;
2U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
3Department of Rehabilitation Therapy, University of Vermont Medical Center

Corresponding Author:
Emily Milbank
Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science
C/o Sharon Henry
305 Rowell Building
106 Carrigan Drive
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05401-0068

The Reliability and Predictive Ability of the Movement Competency Screen in a Military Population

Purpose: Musculoskeletal injuries in the United States Armed Forces impacts operational readiness. Therefore, a reliable, valid screening tool that identifies injury risk and predicts performance is needed. The purpose of this study was to: (1) establish the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the Movement Competency Screen (MCS) using a cohort of United States Naval Academy fourth class Midshipmen, (2) identify if a correlation exists between average total MCS scores and injury rates during training, and (3) identify if a correlation exists between average total MCS score and performance on the Physical Readiness Test (PRT).

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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and Former National Football League Player Suicides

Submitted by: Marcos A. Abreu*(1), Fred J. Cromartie (1), Brandon D. Spradley (1)
(1) United States Sports Academy

*Corresponding Author:
Marcos Abreu
Doctoral Student
United States Sports Academy
One Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526

Marcos Abreu is a doctoral student at the United States Sports Academy studying sports management.

Purpose: Our understanding of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has rapidly advanced, since 2002, when Dr. Bennet I. Omalu first discovered CTE in the brain of deceased former National Football League (NFL) player Mike Webster. Although it is clear that there is a link between the neurological diseases and exposure to repeated mild traumatic brain injuries, the explicit link between the long-term consequences that are associated with CTE and the suicide death of several former NFL players is much less clear. The purpose of this paper is to examine if the psychological and cognitive consequences that are associated with CTE are factors in the suicide death of several former NFL players.
Method: The literature used in this paper was acquired using the words NFL concussions, NFL player CTE research, CTE symptoms in NFL players, and NFL player suicide death in the EBSCOhost and Internet Explorer search engines.

Results: Although similar studies on the relationship between CTE and suicide in former NFL players determined that further research was needed to prove a connection (47, 22), the case study research and testimonial evidence discussed in this study reinforces Omula et al. (2010) findings that identified these psychological and cognitive consequences as key variables associated in suicide death of an alarming amount of NFL players, such as former Eagles and Arizona Cardinals Defensive Back Andre Waters, who resorted to suicide as a result of diminished neurological capabilities and accumulation of symptoms. Continue reading

Assessment of Lightning Safety Knowledge Among Youth Sport Coaches

Submitted by Grace C. Sims, MSc, ATC*(1), Amanda J. Sinclair Elder, EdD, ATC (1) Craig Elder, PhD, ATC, CSCS, CSPS (1), Margaret Harris, PhD (1)

(1) University of Colorado Colorado Springs

*Corresponding Author-Grace Sims, MSc, ATC, 5810 McArthur Ranch Road
Highlands Ranch, CO 80124, Phone: 303-387-3102, Email: gsims@dcsdk12.org

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the lightning safety knowledge among recreational youth sport coaches around the Colorado Front Range metro areas and examine the relationship between knowledge and safe practices. Additional analyses evaluated lightning knowledge score, correct behavior score, and composite score with years lived in Colorado and years coaching.

Methods: One-hundred and eleven youth sport coaches in Colorado from two youth sport organizations completed an online survey consisting of 25 questions about lightning safety and behavior, including four scenarios.

Results: The results of the study found that lightning knowledge and behavior was lacking in comparison to the guidelines set forth by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and National Weather Service. Participants scored poorly on lightning facts related to storm recognition. The majority of participants displayed familiarity with the “flash-to-bang” method, but were less familiar with the “30-30 rule.” Respondents’ mean overall score on the lightning survey was 58%, and a significant relationship between total knowledge score and total behavior score (p less than 0.01) was found.

Conclusion: The results indicate there is a lack of coach knowledge for understanding how to provide safe environments during severe weather for youth sport participants in this area of Colorado. Further exploration of lightning safety knowledge should be conducted in other lightning prone regions.
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