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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2011 June;51(2):292-8

language: English

Baseline simple and complex reaction times in female compared to male boxers

Bianco M. 1,2, Ferri M. 1, Fabiano C. 1, Giorgiano F. 1, Tavella S. 3, Manili U. 3, Faina M. 3, Palmieri V. 1, Zeppilli P. 1

1 Sports Medicine Department, Catholic University, Rome, Italy;
2 Medical Commission, Italian Boxing Federation, Rome, Italy;
3 Sports Medicine and Science Institute, National Italian Olympic Committee, Rome, Italy


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AIM: The aim of the study was to compare baseline cognitive performance of female in respect to male amateur boxers.
METHODS. Study population included 28 female amateur boxers. Fifty-six male boxers, matched for age, employment and competitive level to female athletes, formed the control group. All boxers had no history of head concussions (except boxing). Each boxer was requested to: 1) fulfill a questionnaire collecting demographic data, level of education, occupational status, boxing record and number of head concussions during boxing; 2) undergo a baseline computerized neuropsychological (NP) test (CogSport) measuring simple and complex reaction times (RT).
RESULTS: Female were lighter than male boxers (56±7 vs. 73.1±9.8 kg, P<0.0001). No significant differences at CogSport scores were observed between groups. Male boxers showed a longer simple-RT at the end of the NP battery than at the beginning (0.247±0.007 vs. 0.243±0.007 s, P=0.02), however, with a significant lower rate of mistakes (0.7±1.6 vs. 2.0±3.1%, P=0.005), observed also in the female group (0.5±1.1 vs. 2.2±3.0%, P=0.005). No boxing activity parameter (record, number of knock-outs, etc.) correlated with NP scores.
CONCLUSION: Female and male Olympic-style boxers have no (or minimal) differences in baseline cognitive performance. Further research with larger series of female boxers is required to confirm these findings.

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massimiliano.bianco@fastwebnet.it