Neuropsychological deficits following concussion

Brain Inj. 1996 Feb;10(2):99-103. doi: 10.1080/026990596124584.


The term 'concussion' has been applied to head injuries of varying severity. Most studies have examined subjects suffering concussion of a severity requiring hospital observation, usually as a consequence of motor vehicle accidents. Milder concussive injuries such as those resulting from contact sport are often not reported in hospital-based studies. In this study, subjects with mild concussive injuries were studied with the aim of determining if neuropsychological sequelae are detectable. The subjects received their injuries while playing Australian Rules Football. Baseline (pre-injury) measures on the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT), Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) and Four-Choice Reaction time, involving measures of decision time (DT) and movement time (MT), were obtained in a sample of 130 players. Ten players subsequently concussed were re-tested at 5 days post-injury. A control group of age-matched umpires were assessed on two corresponding occasions. Analyses of covariance showed poorer performances following concussion on the DSST and DT measures. The results suggested that neuropsychological deficits are detectable after resolution of neurological symptoms in the early stages following mild concussive injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain Concussion / complications*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reaction Time