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J Athl Train. 2015 May;50(5):453-9. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.1.07. Epub 2015 Mar 20.

Acute stimulant ingestion and neurocognitive performance in healthy participants.

Author information

1
Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Concussion management has become an area of great concern in athletics, and neurocognitive tests, such as Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT), are commonly used as management tools. Given the restrictive nature of current management plans, anecdotal concerns have been raised about athletes trying to cheat the assessments and return to participation sooner. Stimulants have been shown to improve neurocognitive measures similar to those used in ImPACT. Therefore, they could possibly improve performance during baseline and postinjury testing.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the effects of a supplement containing stimulants on ImPACT performance.

DESIGN:

Crossover study.

SETTING:

Research laboratory.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 5 men (age = 20.6 ± 1.5 years, height = 176.3 ± 9.6 cm, mass = 76.9 ± 18.6 kg) and 7 women (age = 20.6 ± 1.1 years, height = 162.9 ± 7.8 cm, mass = 60.9 ± 8.2 kg) with no histories of physician-diagnosed head injury, learning disability, or attention-deficit disorder.

INTERVENTION(S):

Participants were assessed under supplement (5.5 g of Jacked 3D, which contains caffeine and 1,3-dimethylamylamine), placebo, and control conditions separated by 1 week.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

I compared ImPACT composite scores for verbal and visual memory, visual motor speed, reaction time, impulse control, and a cognitive-efficiency index under each of the 3 conditions and assessed them 30 minutes after ingestion.

RESULTS:

I observed a difference when comparing reaction times, as the participants reacted faster during the supplement condition (0.53 ± 0.03 seconds) than during the placebo (0.55 ± 0.03 seconds) and control (0.55 ± 0.03 seconds) conditions (F2,22 = 4.31, P = .03). A difference also was observed for the cognitive-efficiency index, as participants scored higher during the supplement condition (0.49 ± 0.09) than during the placebo (0.41 ± 0.10) and control (0.41 ± 0.12) conditions (F2,22 = 4.07, P = .03).

CONCLUSIONS:

Stimulant ingestion 30 minutes before testing resulted in improved memory, visual processing speed, and reaction time. However, the improvements were relatively nominal, and the question of clinical importance remains. Thus, it is unclear if stimulant ingestion would affect the return-to-participation progression.

KEYWORDS:

1,3-dimethylamylamine; ImPACT; caffeine; processing speed; reaction time

PMID:
25793459
PMCID:
PMC4560020
DOI:
10.4085/1062-6050-50.1.07
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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