Research Reports - Attention following traumatic brain injury: Neuropsychological and driving simulator data, and association with sleep, sleepiness, and fatigue

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2017 Mar;27(2):216-238. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2015.1077145.
Epub 2015 Aug 24.

Beaulieu-Bonneau S(1), Fortier-Brochu É(1), Ivers H(1), Morin CM(1).

The objectives of this study were to compare individuals with traumatic brain
injury (TBI) and healthy controls on neuropsychological tests of attention and
driving simulation performance, and explore their relationships with
participants' characteristics, sleep, sleepiness, and fatigue. Participants were
22 adults with moderate or severe TBI (time since injury ≥ one year) and 22
matched controls. They completed three neuropsychological tests of attention, a
driving simulator task, night-time polysomnographic recordings, and subjective
ratings of sleepiness and fatigue. Results showed that participants with TBI
exhibited poorer performance compared to controls on measures tapping speed of
information processing and sustained attention, but not on selective attention
measures. On the driving simulator task, a greater variability of the vehicle
lateral position was observed in the TBI group. Poorer performance on specific
subsets of neuropsychological variables was associated with poorer sleep
continuity in the TBI group, and with a greater increase in subjective sleepiness
in both groups. No significant relationship was found between cognitive
performance and fatigue. These findings add to the existing evidence that speed
of information processing is still impaired several years after moderate to
severe TBI. Sustained attention could also be compromised. Attention seems to be
associated with sleep continuity and daytime sleepiness; this interaction needs
to be explored further. 

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