The present study investigated executive function and sustained attention of non-athlete, young adults (ages 18 – 23) with a history of concussion beyond ten months post incident. Cognitive functioning was examined in 24 non-athletic, college students with a concussion history (mean age 21 yrs.; mean time and range post-injury: 4 years, 10-90 months) and 24 non-athletic controls with no history (NH) of concussion. Computerized versions of two cognitive assessment techniques were utilized to examine executive functioning (Stroop) and sustained attention capacity (D2). Primary dependent variables were response time, error score, and sustained attention score. Relationships between dependent variables and concussion metrics were also analyzed. ANOVA’s revealed a significantly higher error rate in concussion history (CH) participants when performing the Stroop task (p<0.05), including a trend for greater errors in the incongruent task condition (p0.05). Nevertheless, there was a significant relationship between D2 error rate and time since concussion (p<0.01), showing that D2 error rate was greater for participants with more time since concussion sustainment. Our findings indicate the potential for prolonged cognitive dysfunction linked to decision-making, but not to processing speed, in young adult non-athletes with a CH averaging four years post-injury. These findings may provide evidence of residual cognitive deficits in young adults with a concussion history over time.
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