Abstract

Objective: Gender and history of migraine are thought to modify athletes' recovery from concussion. The current study aimed to compare the performance of high school male (n = 28) and female (n = 28) athletes aged 12 to 18 years old (M = 15.66, SD = 1.65) with a history of migraine to matched controls (n = 56) with no migraine history on baseline testing. Method: Athletes with a reported history of migraine were matched based on age, gender and sport, and all athletes included in the study completed post-injury testing within 3 days of concussion. All data was extracted from a large de-identified database of high school athletes. Athletes' performance was evaluated using Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) on Memory and Speed Factor z-scores outlined by Schatz & Maerlender, 2013. Results: A repeated measures MANOVA for gender and migraine (between-subjects factors) and Memory and Speed performances (within-subjects factors) revealed a significant main effect of concussion, F = 7.017, p = .001, but no other significant main or interaction effects were found. Separate univariate analyses revealed a significant difference between baseline (M = −0.01, SD = 0.51) and post-injury (M = 0.25, SD = 0.76) performance on the Speed Factor, F = 13.46, p < .001, with concussed athletes performing more slowly, but non-significant results were found on the Memory Factor, F = 1.52, p = .221. Conclusion(s): In conclusion, concussion negatively impacts athletes' neurocognitive performance, particularly on tests of processing speed and this is not modified by gender or migraine history.