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3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport 2008 abstracts

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1C. G. Vaughan, 1D. T. Vincent, 1E. Leaffer, 1J. C. Schneider, 2R. M. Roth, 2P. K. Isquith, 1G. A. Gioia. 1Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA; 2Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA

Objective: Evaluate validity of a novel test of working memory and inhibitory control for children with concussion.

Design: Clinical versus matched control group repeated measures.

Setting: Clinical participants were seen in the CNMC Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery and Education (SCORE) clinic in Washington DC. Controls were recruited from the eastern USA.

Participants: 25 boys, 10 girls aged 9–18 years with concussion matched by age, sex and race/ethnicity to typically developing children.

Intervention: Participants completed two alternative forms serially (median days from injury: time 1  =  10.0; time 2  =  17.0) of a visual task parametrically combining an N-back paradigm (0, 1, 2-back) to assess working memory with a go/no-go paradigm to assess inhibitory control.

Outcome Measures: Response accuracy, reaction time (RT), RT standard deviation and intra-individual coefficient of variability.

Results: A 3 (0, 1, 2-back) by 2 (go, no-go) by 2 (first, second evaluation) repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance with clinical vs control group as the between-subjects factor revealed an overall main effect (p<0.005) with concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) having slower RT (η2  =  0.11) and greater variability (η2  =  0.12) across all levels of working memory and inhibitory control. The mTBI group showed a normal pattern of decreased accuracy (η2  =  0.58) and increased variability (η2  =  0.17) with increased working memory load and slower RT (η2  =  0.12) with the addition of the inhibit demand.

Conclusions: The working memory/inhibitory control battery demonstrated sensitivity to the effects of paediatric concussion with reduced response speed and increased response …

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