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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 316575, 7 pages
Research Article

Possible Lingering Effects of Multiple Past Concussions

1Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 2A1
2Research Department, Copeman Healthcare Centre, 400-1128 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 2L4
3Psychological and Neurobehavioral Associates Inc., 204 East Calder Way, Suite 205, State College, PA 16801, USA
4Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, Suite 905, 350 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-1207, USA
5Neurosciences Program, Alberta Children's Hospital, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3B 6A8
6Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
7Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC, Canada V2S 7M8

Received 30 October 2011; Revised 2 January 2012; Accepted 3 January 2012

Academic Editor: Anne Felicia Ambrose

Copyright © 2012 Grant L. Iverson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The literature on lingering or “cumulative” effects of multiple concussions is mixed. The purpose of this study was to examine whether athletes with a history of three or more concussions perform more poorly on neuropsychological testing or report more subjective symptoms during a baseline, preseason evaluation. Hypothesis. Athletes reporting three or more past concussions would perform more poorly on preseason neurocognitive testing. Study Design. Case-control study. Methods. An archival database including 786 male athletes who underwent preseason testing with a computerized battery (ImPACT) was used to select the participants. Twenty-six athletes, between the ages of 17 and 22 with a history of three or more concussions, were identified. Athletes with no history of concussion were matched, in a case-control fashion, on age, education, self-reported ADHD, school, sport, and, when possible, playing position and self-reported academic problems. Results. The two groups were compared on the four neuropsychological composite scores from ImPACT using multivariate analysis of variance followed by univariate ANOVAs. MANOVA revealed no overall significant effect. Exploratory ANOVAs were conducted using Verbal Memory, Visual Memory, Reaction Time, Processing Speed, and Postconcussion Scale composite scores as dependent variables. There was a significant effect for only the Verbal Memory composite. Conclusions. Although inconclusive, the results suggest that some athletes with multiple concussions could have lingering memory deficits.