Mr. Breton Asken, a clinical psychology doctoral student in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, won the Best Poster Award at the third Annual Meeting of the Sports Neuropsychology Society in Atlanta. He presented data debunking the widely-held belief that scoring lower on pre-concussion (baseline) testing results in a more rapid return-to-contact after concussion.
Many sports concussion professionals believe that athletes may purposefully score low on baseline measures because they believe that, if they suffer mild cognitive changes after a concussion, they will return to their lower baselines more quickly, and thus be able to return to contact sooner after the concussion. Mr. Asken’s data found no relationship between baseline performance level and the number of post-concussion days ensuing before return-to-contact was authorized. The findings have significant implications for concussion management, particularly in organized sports programs that have formal concussion management plans.
Mr. Asken’s co-authors are Dr. James Clugston, an assistant professor of community health and family medicine at the UF College of Medicine, and Dr. Russell Bauer, a professor of clinical and health psychology at the College of Public Health and Health Professions.