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Caroline Westwood, Carolyn Killelea, Mallory Faherty and Timothy Sell

although the reason for the increased risk is not clear. The effects of concussion can last months after diagnosis, and many traditional tests do not detect persistent deficits. 3 The use of a dual-task assessment, which adds a cognitive load to a motor assessment, has the potential to be a more

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Christopher J. Burcal and Erik A. Wikstrom

Dual-task interference is a phenomenon that often results in performance tradeoffs when simultaneously completing tasks. Inconsistent results in the literature suggest an individualistic response to dual-tasking among chronic ankle instability (CAI) patients. We aim to examine the relationship between dual-task balance outcomes and patient- and clinician-oriented outcomes as well as injury characteristics in CAI patients. We identified moderate correlations between a higher number of ankle rolling instances in the past 3 months and worse balance while dual-tasking. Our results highlight the potential individualistic nature of dual-task impairments that may be masked within larger group comparisons.

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Lauren A. Brown, Eric E. Hall, Caroline J. Ketcham, Kirtida Patel, Thomas A. Buckley, David R. Howell and Srikant Vallabhajosula

more complex challenge to the athlete’s brain and thereby be more sensitive in detecting motor deficits. 9 Previous research has used dual-task paradigms to show that gait impairments exist postconcussion but even after self-reported symptom resolution. 6 , 10 – 14 In addition, a dual-task

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Elisa F. Ogawa, Tongjian You and Suzanne G. Leveille

This paper provides a systematic review of current research findings using exergaming as a treatment for improving cognition and dual-task function in older adults. A literature search was conducted to collect exergaming intervention studies that were either randomized controlled or uncontrolled studies. Of the seven identified studies (five randomized controlled studies and two uncontrolled studies), three studies focused on cognitive function alone, two studies focused on dual-task function alone, and two studies measured both cognitive function and dual-task function. Current evidence supports that exergaming improves cognitive function and dual-task function, which potentially leads to fall prevention. However, it is unclear whether exergaming, which involves both cognitive input and physical exercise, has additional benefits compared with traditional physical exercise alone. Further studies should include traditional exercise as a control group to identify these potential, additional benefits.

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James G. Wrightson, Emma Z. Ross and Nicholas J. Smeeton

In a number of studies in which a dual-task gait paradigm was used, researchers reported a relationship between cognitive function and gait. However, it is not clear to what extent these effects are dependent on the type of cognitive and walking tasks used in the dual-task paradigm. This study examined whether stride-time variability (STV) and trunk range of motion (RoM) are affected by the type of cognitive task and walking speed used during dual-task gait. Participants walked at both their preferred walking speed and at 25% of their preferred walking speed and performed a serial subtraction and a working memory task at both speeds. Although both tasks significantly reduced STV at both walking speeds, there was no difference between the two tasks. Trunk RoM was affected by the walking speed and type of cognitive task used during dual-task gait: Mediolateral trunk RoM was increased at the slow walking speed, and anterior-posterior trunk RoM was higher only when performing the serial subtraction task at the slow walking speed. The reduction of STV, regardless of cognitive-task type, suggests that healthy adults may redirect cognitive processes away from gait toward cognitive-task performance during dual-task gait.

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Shahrzad Mohammadi-Rad, Mahyar Salavati, Ismail Ebrahimi-Takamjani, Behnam Akhbari, Shiva Sherafat, Hossein Negahban, Pezhman Lali and Masood Mazaheri

Purpose:

To compare the effect of dual tasking on postural stability between patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R) and healthy controls.

Methods:

Single-limb postural stability was assessed in 17 athletes with ACL-R and 17 healthy matched athletes while standing on a Biodex Balance System platform in 4 conditions: stability level of 8 (ie, more-stable support surface) with eyes open, stability level of 8 with eyes closed, stability level of 6 (ie, less-stable support surface) with eyes open, and stability level of 6 with eyes closed. Postural-stability tasks were performed with and without auditory Stroop task. The anteroposterior stability index (APSI), mediolateral stability index (MLSI), and overall stability index (OSI) as measures of postural performance, as well as reaction time and error ratio as measures of cognitive performance, were recorded.

Results:

Dual-tasking effect on postural stability was not significantly different between the groups in 3 postural conditions. Only in level 6 with eyes open, for APSI and OSI, patients with ACL-R showed lower postural stability under the dual-task condition. However, patients showed poorer performance on both reaction time and error ratio in all postural conditions.

Conclusions:

The patients with ACL-R appeared to sacrifice their cognitive performance to optimize their performance on postural stability. This posture-first strategy was reflected by a more pronounced effect of dual tasking on the auditory Stroop task than the postural-stability task. In situations where maintenance of posture is challenging, giving priority to the postural task at the expense of cognitive performance can ensure safety from balance loss.

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Renee Beach Sample, Kurt Jackson, Allison L. Kinney, Wiebke S. Diestelkamp, Senia Smoot Reinert and Kimberly Edginton Bigelow

Falls occur in 33% of older adults each year, some leading to moderate to severe injuries. To reduce falls and fall-related injuries, it is important to identify individuals with subtle risk factors elevating their likelihood of falling. The objective of this study was to determine how postural sway measures differed between fallers and nonfallers under standard and dual-task conditions. Quietstanding posturography measures were collected from 150 older adults during standard, cognitive, manual, and cognitive+manual tasks, and analyzed through traditional and nonlinear analyses. Of the traditional measures, M/L sway range and 95% confidence ellipse sway area showed statistically significant differences in all 4 test conditions between fallers and nonfallers. Although the manual dual task showed the most stable balance, effect sizes demonstrated larger differences between fallers and nonfallers. Nonlinear analysis revealed M/L sample entropy and M/L α-scaling exponent differentiating between fallers and nonfallers, with the cognitive task demonstrating larger differences. Based on the results, it is recommended to: (1) apply M/L sway range and 95% confidence ellipse area, (2) use the manual task to differentiate between fallers and nonfallers when using traditional analyses, and (3) use the cognitive task and M/L alpha and M/L sample entropy when using nonlinear analyses.

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David R. Howell, Jessie R. Oldham, Melissa DiFabio, Srikant Vallabhajosula, Eric E. Hall, Caroline J. Ketcham, William P. Meehan III and Thomas A. Buckley

Gait impairments have been documented following sport-related concussion. Whether preexisting gait pattern differences exist among athletes who participate in different sport classifications, however, remains unclear. Dual-task gait examinations probe the simultaneous performance of everyday tasks (ie, walking and thinking), and can quantify gait performance using inertial sensors. The purpose of this study was to compare the single-task and dual-task gait performance of collision/contact and noncontact athletes. A group of collegiate athletes (n = 265) were tested before their season at 3 institutions (mean age= 19.1 ± 1.1 years). All participants stood still (single-task standing) and walked while simultaneously completing a cognitive test (dual-task gait), and completed walking trials without the cognitive test (single-task gait). Spatial-temporal gait parameters were compared between collision/contact and noncontact athletes using MANCOVAs; cognitive task performance was compared using ANCOVAs. No significant single-task or dual-task gait differences were found between collision/contact and noncontact athletes. Noncontact athletes demonstrated higher cognitive task accuracy during single-task standing (P = .001) and dual-task gait conditions (P = .02) than collision/contact athletes. These data demonstrate the utility of a dual-task gait assessment outside of a laboratory and suggest that preinjury cognitive task performance during dual-tasks may differ between athletes of different sport classifications.

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Isaac Estevan, Sergio Gandia, Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña, José Luis Bermejo and Xavier García-Massó

—Differences in postural control and cognitive performance according to the difficulty of the working memory task. The gray boxes represent the 25th–75th percentiles, and the black lines inside the boxes represent the median. The black rhombus indicates the mean value. ST = single task; DT = dual task: 3D, 5D

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Luke M. Ross, Johna K. Register-Mihalik, Jason P. Mihalik, Karen L. McCulloch, William E. Prentice, Edgar W. Shields and Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Context:

Recent evidence has revealed deficiencies in the ability to divide attention after concussion.

Objective:

To examine the effects of a single vs a dual task on cognition and balance in healthy subjects and to examine reliability of 2 dual-task paradigms while examining the overall feasibility of the tasks.

Design:

Pretest–posttest experimental design.

Setting:

Sports medicine research laboratory.

Patients:

30 healthy, recreationally active college students.

Intervention:

Subjects performed balance and cognitive tasks under the single- and dual-task conditions during 2 test sessions 14 d apart.

Main Outcome Measures:

The procedural reaction-time (PRT) test of the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (eyes-closed tasks) and an adapted Procedural Auditory Task (PAT; eyes-open tasks) were used to assess cognition. The NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) were used to assess balance performance. Five 2-way, within-subject ANOVAs and a paired-samples t test were used to analyze the data. ICCs were used to assess reliability across 2 test sessions.

Results:

On the SOT, performance significantly improved between test sessions (F 1,29 = 35.695, P < .001) and from the single to the dual task (F 1,29 = 9.604, P = .004). On the PRT, performance significantly improved between test sessions (F 1,29 = 57.252, P < .001) and from the single to the dual task (F 1,29 = 7.673, P = .010). No differences were seen on the BESS and the PAT. Reliability across test sessions ranged from moderate to poor for outcome measure.

Conclusions:

The BESS appears to be a more reliable and functional tool in dual-task conditions as a result of its increased reliability and clinical applicability. In addition, the BESS is more readily available to clinicians than the SOT.