A Case Report of Neurological Performance Enhancement in a Professional Basketball Player
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”. He exhibited dysmetria of rightward saccades, inability to maintain steady gaze-holding, and decreased pursuit gain. Posturographic measurements demonstrated decreased stability, and dramatic anterior shift in center of pressure. Graded symptom severity was a 25/138. Cognition was scored at 26/30. Trails A and B had scores of 37.5 sec and 58.3 sec 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 one hour per session. Each session consisted of electrical somatosensory stimulation, neuromuscular reeducation exercises, vestibular rehabilitation exercises, off-vertical 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: 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.