Research Reports - Behavioral and neurophysiological abnormalities during cued continuous performance tasks in patients with mild traumatic brain injury

Weixiang Zhao Ruhong Wu Suhong Wang Haihui Qi Yitao Qian Suinuan Wang

Brain and Behavior, First published: 15 April 2018 https://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.966

Objective
This study's aim was to investigate the features and neural mechanisms of sustained attention in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) by comparing and analyzing neuropsychological, behavioral, event‐related potentials, and event‐related desynchronization and synchronization between mTBI patients and healthy controls.

Methods
Twenty mTBI patients with mTBI and 20 healthy controls underwent the Mini‐Mental State Examination (MMSE) and a cued continuous performance task (AX‐CPT). Neuropsychological, behavioral, and electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected and analyzed.

Results
There were significant differences between the mTBI group and the control group in their MMSE total scores, attention, and calculation, but there were no significant differences in orientation, memory, recall, and verbal scores. There were significant differences between the mTBI group and the control group in hitting the number, reaction time, and the number of errors of omission, but there were no significant differences in the number of false errors. The amplitude of Go‐N2 and Nogo‐N2 was significantly smaller for the mTBI group than that for the control group. The amplitude of Go‐P3 was significantly smaller for the mTBI group than that for the control group, but not for the amplitude of Nogo‐P3. The Go‐αERS were significantly less for the mTBI group than for the control group during the 0–200 ms after the stimulus onset. The Go‐αERD and Nogo‐αERD were significantly less for the mTBI group than for the control group during the 600–1,000 ms after the stimulus onset. The Go‐βERS were significantly less for the mTBI group than for the control group during the 200–400 ms after the stimulus onset. There were no significant differences in the Nogo‐αERS and Nogo‐βERD/ERS between the mTBI group and the control group.

Conclusion
Patients with mTBI exhibited impairments in sustained attention and conflict monitoring, while response inhibition may have been spared.

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