August 2016

Athletes with low neurocognitive scores exhibit high-risk landing biomechanics

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Athletes with low neurocognitive scores are more likely than their higher-scoring counterparts to demonstrate landing mechanics associated with anterior cruciate injury (ACL) risk, according to research from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Investigators assessed the landing mechanics of 37 healthy, nonconcussed recreational athletes who also took the computer-based Concussion Resolution Index (CRI) neurocognitive test; the 17 who scored lowest on the CRI (average 41st percentile) were compared with the 20 higher-scoring athletes (average 78th percentile). Lower scores were associated with significantly greater vertical ground reaction force, peak anterior tibial shear force, knee abduction moment, and knee abduction angle during landing, as well as significantly less trunk flexion.

The findings, which were epublished in late July by the American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM), are consistent with those of a 2007 AJSM study in which baseline neurocognitive scores were significantly lower in college athletes who went on to suffer ACL injuries than in those who didn’t.


Herman DC, Barth JT. Drop-jump landing varies with baseline neurocognition. Am J Sports Med 2016 Jul 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Swanik CB, Covassin T, Stearne DJ, Schatz P. The relationship between neurocognitive function and noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Am J Sports Med 2007;35(6):943-948.

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