Neurological Performance Enhancement in a Professional Basketball Athlete

Background: A 30 year-old, active, male professional basketball player in “good health” was experiencing slowness, lower extremity posterior compartment tightness, decreased balance, mild sadness, anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, fogginess, and “feeling off.”

His clinical examination revealed inaccurate rightward fast eye movements, inability to maintain

steady gaze-holding, and decreased integrity of eye-tracking. Balance assessment measurements demonstrated decreased stability, and dramatic forward shift in center of pressure. His graded symptom severity was a 25/138. SAC cognition was scored at 26/30. Trail Making Test (TMT) A and B had scores of 37.5 s and 58.3 s, respectively. Static and Dynamic visual acuity were both 20/15.

Methods: A four-day, multi-modal program of neurological exercises was administered three times per day, for 1 h per session. Each session consisted of non-invasive neuromodulation, neuromuscular reeducation exercises, vestibular rehabilitation exercises, earth-vertical (yaw) axis rotation, and eye exercises.

Results: At the end of four days of treatment there was reduction in symptoms (–84%), accurate saccades in all directions, normal gaze-holding, smooth pursuits, improved stability, normalization of center of pressure, increased in visual acuity (+10%), decrease in Trails A and B time (–56%, –64%), and improved concentration (+12%).

Conclusion: A multi-modal, intensive programs of neurological exercises may be a viable method to improve neurological performance in healthy individuals. The authors suggest further investigation into multi-modal, intensive approaches to performance enhancement in healthy individuals.

Antonucci M, Sass Cm, Sass Bj(2015). Abstract: A Case Report Of Neurological Performance Enhancement In A Professional Basketball Player. Front. Neurol. Conference Abstract: International Symposium On Clinical Neuroscience: Tbi And Neurodegeneration. Doi:10.3389/Conf.Fneur.2015.58.00047

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