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Long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury on cognitive performance

Dean, PJA and Sterr, A (2013) Long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury on cognitive performance Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 30. pp. 1-11.

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Although a proportion of individuals report chronic cognitive difficulties after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), results from behavioral testing have been inconsistent. In fact, the variability inherent to the mTBI population may be masking subtle cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that this variability could be reduced by accounting for post-concussion syndrome (PCS) in the sample. Thirty-six participants with mTBI (>1 year post-injury) and 36 non-head injured controls performed information processing speed (Paced Visual Serial Addition Task, PVSAT) and working memory (n-Back) tasks. Both groups were split by PCS diagnosis (4 groups, all n = 18), with categorization of controls based on symptom report. Participants with mTBI and persistent PCS had significantly greater error rates on both the n-Back and PVSAT, at every difficulty level except 0-Back (used as a test of performance validity). There was no difference between any of the other groups. Therefore, a cognitive deficit can be observed in mTBI participants, even 1 year after injury. Correlations between cognitive performance and symptoms were only observed for mTBI participants, with worse performance correlating with lower sleep quality, in addition to a medium effect size association (falling short of statistical significance) with higher PCS symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. These results suggest that the reduction in cognitive performance is not due to greater symptom report itself, but is associated to some extent with the initial injury. Furthermore, the results validate the utility of our participant grouping, and demonstrate its potential to reduce the variability observed in previous studies.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 12 February 2013
Identification Number : 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00030
Uncontrolled Keywords : head injury, minor, post-concussion syndrome, cognition, neuropsychological tests
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 26 Feb 2013 14:20
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 20:00

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