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Presenter: Eric Braverman, MD
Recent studies have elucidated a link between early adulthood concussions and patterns of decline in late adulthood associated with abnormal aging, especially in athletes.1 Existing methods of detecting concussions include neuropsychological tests, which are often ineffective as individuals purposely fail a baseline test in order to conceal signs of cognitive impairment when a concussion is sustained.2 In contrast, electrophysiological assessment of P300 latency and amplitude has proved to be accurate3 and has been termed ‘the lie detector test’ of concussion diagnosis. P300 measurements taken in the period of middle to late adulthood and after years of sports performance, may be able to detect the lingering effects of concussions even after symptoms identified by neuropsychological evaluations have subsided. Individuals who had a history of concussion (n=293) were recruited and enrolled in a study at a multispeciality private practice group in New York and were submitted to an auditory two-stimulus odd ball paradigm, while event related potentials (ERP) were recorded. Individuals between the ages of 30 to 59 (n1=171) showed an average P300 latency that was 4.96 milliseconds shorter than that of the control group (n2=765) in the same age range (m1=320.89, SD1=24.75; m2=325.85, SD2=23.88; t(934)=2.44, p=.015).