Balance and Cognition in Male Collegiate Lacrosse Players

in Motor Control

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Dennis W. Klima University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0083-5158 *
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Ethan Hood DeSales University, Center Valley, PA, USA

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Meredith Madden University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, USA

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Rachel Bell University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD, USA

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Teresa Dawson University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD, USA

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Catherine McGill McGill Neuropsychology, McLean, VA, USA

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Michael Patterson University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD, USA

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Concussion screening among collegiate lacrosse athletes is a major safety priority. Although attention has been directed at concussion management following injury, less is known about the association between cognition and balance during preseason screening. The purpose of the study was to assess the relationship between balance and neurocognition among collegiate male lacrosse players and to examine predictive determinants of postural stability. Participants included a convenience sample of 49 male collegiate Division 3 lacrosse players who completed a demographic survey and performed the immediate postconcussion test (ImPACT) and instrumented Sensory Organization Test (SOT). There was a significant association between balance SOT performance and both verbal memory (r = .59, p < .01) and visual motor speed scores (r = .43, p < .05). Significant correlations between verbal memory and SOT Conditions 2, 5, and 6 were also noted (all p < .05). Verbal memory predicted 33% of the variance in the SOT composite balance score (p < .001). Our results indicate a significant relationship exists between postural stability and both verbal memory and visual processing speed among collegiate male lacrosse players and supports vestibulocortical associations. Findings warrant ongoing performance and executive function tracking and can serve as a conduit for integrated sensorimotor and dual-task training.

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