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Journal Article


Rochefort C, Legace E, Boulay C, Macartney G, Goulet K, Zemek R, Sveistrup H. J. Athl. Train. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Bruyère Research Institute and School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada.


(Copyright © 2020, National Athletic Trainers' Association (USA))






CONTEXT: Deficits in both balance and oculomotor function, including impairments in saccadic eye movements, are observed in approximately 30% of patients postconcussion. Whereas balance and saccadic eye movements are routinely assessed separately, growing evidence suggests that they should be assessed concurrently.

OBJECTIVE: To compare balance measures and saccades between adolescents 1 to 3 months postconcussion and healthy uninjured adolescents.

DESIGN: Case-control study. SETTING: Concussion clinic and 2 private schools. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-five adolescents (10 boys, 15 girls; median [interquartile range (IQR)] age = 14 years [11.5-16 years]) between 1 and 3 months postconcussion (median [IQR] time since injury = 39.5 days [30-56.75 days]) and 33 uninjured adolescents (18 boys, 15 girls; median [IQR] age = 13 years [11.5-14 years]). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The center-of-pressure 95% ellipse area and medial-lateral and anterior-posterior velocity and the number of saccades in the dual-task balance conditions including a high cognitive load (cognitive condition), a low cognitive load and a gaze-shifting component (visual condition), or both a high cognitive load and a gaze-shifting component (combined condition).

RESULTS: Concussion-group participants swayed over larger center-of-pressure ellipse areas in the visual (P =.02; effect size = 0.73) and combined (P =.005; effect size = 0.86) conditions but not in the cognitive condition (P =.07; effect size = 0.50). No group differences were identified for anterior-posterior (F1,56 = 2.57, P =.12) or medial-lateral (F1,56 = 0.157, P =.69) velocity. Concussion-group participants also did not perform more saccades than the control-group participants (F1,56 = 2.04, P =.16).

CONCLUSIONS: Performing dual-task balance conditions for which the secondary task involves a gaze-shifting component or both a gaze-shifting component and a high cognitive load resulted in greater sway amplitude in adolescents with concussion. However, these larger amounts of postural sway were not associated with increased saccadic eye movements.

Language: en


Stroop Color and Word Test; center of pressure; dual-task; eye tracking


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