Pilot Study: Exploring Neurophysiological and Neuropsychological Behaviors in Active Persons After Mild Head Injury
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Thus far, twenty-seven participants aged 18 - 40 years of age with (MHI) and without (non-MHI) a history of mild head injury have participated in this study. Participants were grouped according to responses to a screening questionnaire including the standardized Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptom Questionaire. The project utilized commonly used tests for neuropsychological and neurophysilogical evaluation including the written Trail Making Test , the computerized IMPACT™ protocols, the computerized protocols of InVision™ to assess dynamic visual acuity as influenced by the vestibular ocular reflex, and the computerized EquiTest® protocols for the Sensory Organization Test used to assess standing balance during altered sensory conditions. Data analysis of test scores were compared and analyzed according to group (MHI, non-MHI). Factorial MANOVA statistics were used to analyze scores at an alpha level of 0.05. This pilot project is unique in that helped to explore several factors, which might influence long-term sensorimotor processing function post mild head injury. Preliminary results indicate a significant relationship between time post injury and cognitive processing speed for short-term memory and reaction times, vestibulo-ocular reflexes for gaze stability, and balance performance during complex sensory conditions. In addition, unexpected results indicate a gender difference in recovery from mild head injury. Project results have supported other projects with four grant applications (two NIH) and several conference presentations and posters. The project has been extended another year to increase the participant pool and to explore some rehabilitation strategies used for MHI patients during long-term recovery.