OBJECTIVE: Research suggests that one physiological effect of concussion is a disruption in regulation of autonomic nervous system control that affects the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic output. While changes in heart rate after concussion have been observed, the nature of the heart rate change during progressive exercise has not been well evaluated in acutely symptomatic patients. Additionally, little is known about the relationship between HR and RPE in this population.
METHODS: We compared changes in heart rate and perceived effort during graded treadmill exertion in recently concussed patients to elucidate the effect of brain injury on cardiovascular response to exercise. Resting HR, HR on exercise initiation, and changes in HR and RPE during the Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test (BCTT) were compared on two test visits: When patients were symptomatic (acute) and after recovery. Results were compared with the test-retest results obtained from a control group consisting of healthy, non-concussed individuals. Read More