Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Assessment of Cognitive Functioning in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes

Assessment of Cognitive Functioning in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes

This is the first study to examine the relationship between the increasingly popular sport of mixed-martial-arts and objective computerized cognitive performance. Specifically, the study examines whether the neuropsychological functioning of MMA athletes differs from athletes who are not exposed to contact striking and associated head traumas. Also assessed is the relationship between cognitive performance and MMA training routines. Participants chose the location where they completed measures. 28 MMA athletes and 28 control athletes. Individuals were categorized into one of two groups based on whether they participate in MMA. The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Cognitive Test (ImPACT) as well as a questionnaire on training routines. Results from this first study to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes’ using an objective computerized neuropsychological assessment instrument suggests participation in MMA is not related to neuropsychological task performance. Furthermore, the neurocognitive performance of MMA athletes was indistinguishable from control athletes not regularly exposed to repeated head trauma.

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