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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

South Carolina: Research Finds Athletes with ADHD or Learning Disabilities at Greater Risk for Incurring Concussions, Face Harder Recoveries

Members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association – Department of Defense (NCAA-DOD) Concussion Consortium have been presenting and publishing findings from a series of studies on concussions among athletes who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The researchers found that athletes with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — regardless of medication status — are more likely to incur concussions and are more likely to experience a more challenging recovery, including symptoms such as anxiety and depression and a longer recovery period, compared to athletes without ADHD.

“Previous research on athletes who incur a concussion typically evaluate normative individuals neglecting those athletes with neurodevelopmental disorders,” says Dr. Davis Moore, an assistant professor in the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health’s Department of Exercise Science and a co-investigator on the studies. “Indeed, most concussion research typically screens out these individuals or only seeks to evaluate their injury incidence.”

Dedicated to improving assessment and treatment protocols for concussive injuries to make them accessible to everyone, Dr. Moore joined UofSC in 2016 to continue this research in his Concussion & Health Neuroscience Laboratory. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, he collaborates with scientists from athletic training, sports medicine, neuroscience, psychology and other fields to coordinate comprehensive initiatives that focus on both research and clinical care, particularly for vulnerable and understudied populations such as non-athletes, military personnel, car accident survivors, youth and athletes with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD, learning disabilities).

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