Concussion and Concurrent Cognitive and Sport-specific Task | 45853

Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology

ISSN - 2155-9562


Concussion and Concurrent Cognitive and Sport-specific Task Performance in Youth Ice Hockey Players: A Single-case Pilot Study

Nick Reed, Philippe Fait, Karl Zabjek, Bradford McFadyen, Tim Taha and Michelle Keightley

Background: Concussion is common in the sport of ice hockey and can cause deficits in cognitive function.
In most situations, ice hockey participation requires the performance of more than one skill at a time. It has been
reported that following concussion in athletes, performance deficits arise when locomotor and cognitive tasks are
performed concurrently that may have otherwise gone unnoticed if assessed in isolation of one another. The purpose
of this pilot study was to explore the effect of concussion on cognition during concurrent ice hockey specific tasks in
youth ice hockey players.
Methods: This single case pilot study compared the performance of 4 male youth ice hockey players who
had experienced a concussion in the previous ice hockey season (mean age=11.7 ± 0.3 years; mean time since
injury=92.5 ± 49.1 days) to a group of 10 non-injured controls (mean age=11.8 ± 0.8 years). Participants completed
a randomized combination of three ice hockey specific tasks while concurrently completing a visual interference task
(modified Stroop task).
Results: Participants who experienced a concussion within the previous ice hockey season and were ≤ 58 days
post-injury demonstrated significantly poorer cognitive performance (increased cognitive dual task cost) across all
conditions when completing the visual interference task concurrently with ice hockey specific skills (p ≤ 0.05).
Conclusion: This study acts as an initial step towards the development of a sport-specific assessment of
functional performance following concussion in youth ice hockey players to help inform safer return to play.