Concussions in athletes produce brain dysfunction as revealed by event-related potentials

Neuroreport. 2000 Dec 18;11(18):4087-92. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200012180-00035.


We have used event-related potentials (ERP) to assess cerebral activity following mild traumatic brain injuries in 20 college athletes practising contact sports. Concussion victims showed a striking decrease in P300 amplitude, an effect presumed to reflect alterations in attentional-cognitive processes. Moreover, the degree of impairment was strongly related to the severity of post-concussion symptoms. Our data suggest that concussions cause objectively measurable changes in the electrophysiological markers of brain activity and hence in the functions of the structures from which they originate. ERPs may thus constitute a reliable method to accurately monitor the clinical course and recovery of head injuries in athletes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / complications
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Concussion / complications
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male