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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 77:518-520 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2004.061044
  • Short report

Neuropsychological dysfunction following repeat concussions in jockeys

  1. S E Wall1,
  2. W H Williams1,
  3. S Cartwright-Hatton2,
  4. T P Kelly3,
  5. J Murray4,
  6. M Murray5,
  7. A Owen6,
  8. M Turner7
  1. 1School of Psychology and Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK
  2. 2Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester MI3 9PL, UK
  3. 3Department of Neuropsychology, Regional Neuroscience Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle NE4 6BE, UK
  4. 4Clinical Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XL, Surrey, UK
  5. 5NHS Lothian, Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh EH9 2HL, UK
  6. 6South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, Birmingham B13 8JL, UK
  7. 7Medical Director, Jockey Club, London WC2H 8AL, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr W H Williams
 School of Psychology and Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK; w.h.williams{at}ex.ac.uk
  • Received 13 December 2004
  • Accepted 18 March 2005
  • Revised 15 March 2005

Abstract

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.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: none declared

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