Research Reports - Cognitive functioning following traumatic brain injury: A five-year follow-up

NeuroRehabilitation. 2016 Feb 10;38(1):71-8. doi: 10.3233/NRE-151297.

Marsh NV(1), Ludbrook MR(2), Gaffaney LC(2).

OBJECTIVE: To describe the long-term prevalence and severity of cognitive
deficits following significant (i.e., ventilation required for >24 hours)
traumatic brain injury. To assess a comprehensive range of cognitive functions
using psychometric measures with established normative, reliability, and validity
METHODS: A group of 71 adults was assessed at approximately five years (mean = 66
months) following injury. Assessment of cognitive functioning covered the domains
of intelligence, attention, verbal and visual memory, visual-spatial
construction, and executive functions.
RESULTS: Impairment was evident across all domains but prevalence varied both
within and between domains. Across aspects of intelligence clinical impairment
ranged from 8-25% , attention 39-62% , verbal memory 16-46% , visual memory
23-51% , visual-spatial construction 38% , and executive functions (verbal
fluency) 13% . In addition, 3-23% of performances across the measures were in the
borderline range, suggesting a high prevalence of subclinical deficit.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the prevalence of impairment may vary across cognitive
domains, long-term follow-up documented deficits in all six domains. These
findings provide further evidence that while improvement of cognitive functioning
following significant traumatic brain injury may be possible, recovery of
function is unlikely.

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