- American-style football has a relatively high rate of long-term effects from concussions.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Head trauma from American-style football (ASF) has been linked to brain pathology. However, the long-term effects of head trauma on cognitive-motor function are poorly understood. This study used a remote, app-based tracking system to examine the relationship between automaticity in gait (tolerance of distractions) and symptomatic concussions in the careers of professional football players. The primary objectives of this study were to:
- Investigate whether there was a measurable effect on dual task capacity that was correlated to the number of concussions, and the number of concussions with loss of consciousness (LOC).
- Demonstrate the proof of concept that a mobile app would be sensitive enough to detect and agree with more sophisticated technologies in measuring variability in gait under dual task conditions.
This study supports the need for dual task testing in gait, as part of a comprehensive balance assessment.
In a large study of retired NFL players (the highest professional league for ASF), 66 former athletes were selected as a part of the study. Participants conducted 45 second single-task and dual-task gait trials in their home, using the mobile