Research Reports - Predictors of 1-month and 1-year neurocognitive functioning from the UCLA longitudinal mild, uncomplicated, pediatric traumatic brain injury study

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2013 Feb;19(2):145-54

Babikian T, McArthur D, Asarnow RF

Although more severe brain injuries have long been associated with persisting
neurocognitive deficits, an increasing body of literature has shown that
children/adolescents with single, uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injury
(mTBI) do not exhibit long-lasting neurocognitive impairments. Nonetheless,
clinical experience and our previous report (Babikian, 2011) showed that a
minority of children/adolescents exhibit persistent cognitive problems using
performance based measures following what appear to be relatively mild injuries.
Predictors of poor neurocognitive outcomes were evaluated in 76 mTBI and 79 Other
Injury subjects to determine the relative contributions of indices of injury
severity, clinical symptomatology, demographic factors, and premorbid functioning
in predicting 1-month and 12-month neurocognitive impairment on computerized or
paper and pencil measures. Injury severity indicators or type of injury (head vs.
other body part) did not predict either 1-month or 12-month cognitive impairment
status. Rather, premorbid variables that antedated the injury (parental
education, premorbid behavior and/or learning problems, and school achievement)
predicted cognitive impairments. When post-injury neurocognitive impairments are
observed in survivors of mild injuries (head or other body part), a sound
understanding of their etiology is critical in designing appropriate intervention
plans. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

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