Experimental research suggests that sport-related concussion can lead to persistent alterations in children's neurophysiology and cognition. However, the search for neuropsychological tests with a similar ability to detect long-term deficits continues.
Primary objective: The current study assessed whether a target battery of neuropsychological measures of higher cognition and academic achievement would detect lingering deficits in children 2 years after injury.
Research design: Cross-sectional.
Methods and procedure: A total of 32 pre-adolescent children (16 concussion history, 16 control) completed a targeted battery of neuropsychological and academic tests.
Main outcomes and results: Children with a history of concussion exhibited selective deficits during the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, Comprehensive Trail-Making Test, and the mathematics sub-section of the WRAT-3. Deficit magnitude was significantly related to age at injury, but not time since injury.
Conclusions: The current results suggest that neuropsychological measures of higher cognition and academic achievement may be sensitive to lingering deficits, and that children injured earlier in life may exhibit worse neuropsychological and academic performance.
Keywords: Paediatric concussion; academic achievement; higher cognition; long-term; mild traumatic brain injury.