Neuropsychological dysfunction following repeat concussions in jockeys
- S E Wall1,
- W H Williams1,
- S Cartwright-Hatton2,
- T P Kelly3,
- J Murray4,
- M Murray5,
- A Owen6,
- M Turner7
- 1School of Psychology and Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK
- 2Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester MI3 9PL, UK
- 3Department of Neuropsychology, Regional Neuroscience Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle NE4 6BE, UK
- 4Clinical Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XL, Surrey, UK
- 5NHS Lothian, Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh EH9 2HL, UK
- 6South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, Birmingham B13 8JL, UK
- 7Medical Director, Jockey Club, London WC2H 8AL, UK
- Correspondence to: Dr W H Williams School of Psychology and Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK;
- Received 13 December 2004
- Accepted 18 March 2005
- Revised 15 March 2005
Background: Single and repeat concussions have a high prevalence in sport. However, there is limited research into longterm risks associated with single and repeat concussions.
Objectives: To determine the effects of single and repeat historical concussions on the neuropsychological functioning and neurological reports of licensed jockeys.
Methods: Six hundred and ninety eight licensed jockeys in the UK were assessed for neurological and neuropsychological symptoms of concussion at least three months after potential episodes.
Results: Jockeys reporting multiple historical injuries versus a single injury showed reliable decrements on a measure of response inhibition and, to a less robust degree, on divided attention. Younger adults showed greater vulnerability.
Conclusions: Repeated concussion is associated with reliable decrements in cognitive performance—even after a three month window for recent recovery.
Competing interests: none declared