-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Getting too little sleep
the night before undergoing baseline concussion testing can skew
results, a new study finds.
Baseline concussion testing depicts an athlete's basic mental
abilities, such as reaction time, working memory and attention
span. Athletes who suffer a concussion retake the test, and if
there is a large decrease in the score, they are typically banned
from play until their score improves.
The study included more than 3,600 high school- and college-aged
participants who were divided into three groups based on their
amounts of self-reported sleep the night before baseline testing:
fewer than 7 hours, 7 to 9 hours, and more than 9 hours.
The athletes who slept fewer than 7 hours the night before
testing had significantly lower scores than expected on reaction
time, verbal memory and visual memory. They also had significant
differences in the total number of reported symptoms, compared to
those in the other two groups, the study authors noted.
The study was scheduled for presentation Saturday at the annual
meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in
"Understanding factors which modify baseline testing, potentially including sleep, will continue to help lead to more accurate concussion testing, which ultimately equips clinicians with the best judgment to avoid returning athletes to competition earlier than necessary," one of the researchers, Jake McClure of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., said in a society news release.
The data and conclusions of research presented at meetings
should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains
baseline concussion testing in young
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