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Neurocognitive function and musculoskeletal injury risk in sports : A systematic review

Title data

Wilke, Jan ; Groneberg, David A.:
Neurocognitive function and musculoskeletal injury risk in sports : A systematic review.
In: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Vol. 25 (2022) Issue 1 . - pp. 41-45.
ISSN 1878-1861

Abstract in another language


A variety of modifiable risk factors has been suggested to predict musculoskeletal injury in sports. Screening paradigms and exercise-based prevention programs, so far, frequently focused on physical parameters such as strength, balance or flexibility. However, less is known with regard to the impact of brain function. We investigated the relation between cognition and the occurrence of injury in athletes.


Systematic review.


Database searches using Pubmed, Web of Science and Google Scholar returned nine cohort and case-control studies, which almost exclusively examined college athletes engaging in open skill sports. Methodological quality, rated by means of a modified Downs and Black checklist, was moderate (12/17 points).


Seven out of the nine included studies suggested that lower-order cognitive function (i.e. visuomotor reaction time) is systematically associated with the occurrence of injury. No paper examined the impact of executive function.


Despite initial evidence pointing towards a potentially injury-predictive role of lower-order cognitive function, several issues including the use of more variable populations and outcomes remain to be addressed before definitive recommendations for clinicians can be made.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Athletes; Brain; Cognition; Sports injury; Trauma
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science > Chair Sport Science I - Neuromotorik und Bewegung > Chair Sport Science I - Neuromotorik und Bewegung - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan Wilke
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 610 Medicine and health
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2024 12:05
Last Modified: 02 May 2024 06:40