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A prospective study of punch biomechanics and cognitive function for amateur boxers
  1. S Stojsih1,
  2. M Boitano2,
  3. M Wilhelm1,
  4. C Bir1
  1. 1Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  2. 2McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr C Bir, Wayne State University, 818 W Hancock, Detroit, MI 48201-3719, USA; cbir{at}


Objective To evaluate several biomechanical factors of the head during a sparring session and their link to cognitive function.

Design Instrumented Boxing Headgear (IBH) was used for data collection during four 2 min sparring sessions. Neurocognitive assessment was measured using the ImPACT© Concussion management software. A baseline neurocognitive test was obtained from each athlete prior to sparring; two additional tests were obtained and compared with the baseline.

Setting Male and female amateur boxers.

Participants Data were collected from 30 male and 30 female amateur boxers.

Main outcome measurements Head accelerations (translational and rotational), injury severity indexes (Head Injury Criteria (HIC) and Gadd Severity Index (GSI)) and cognitive function scores.

Results Peak translational and rotational acceleration values were 191 g and 17 156 rad/s2, respectively, for males and 184 g and 13 113 rad/s2, respectively, for females. The peak HIC and GSI values for males were 1652 and 2292, respectively, and for females 1079 and 1487, respectively. There was no significant difference in the neurocognitive scores between genders. A decrease was exhibited in the delayed memory postbout scores. All other scores either increased or did not significantly decrease when compared with the baseline.

Conclusions The majority of impacts experienced by both genders were under the threshold for mild head injury. There was a statistically significant difference between peak translational and rotational acceleration, HIC and GSI when comparing genders. When analysing cognitive functions, there was no statistical difference between genders.

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  • Funding The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment provided funding for this research project.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by Wayne State University Human Investigation Committee.