Research Reports - Relationship between cognitive and motor performance in physically well-recovered men with traumatic brain injury

J Rehabil Med. 2012 Oct 25

Sarajuuri J, Pasanen M, Rinne M, Vartiainen M, Lehto T, Alaranta H

Objective: To explore the relationship between cognitive and motor performance in
physically well-recovered men with traumatic brain injury. Design:
Cross-sectional explorative study in a national neurorehabilitation centre.
Subjects: Men with post-acute traumatic brain injury (n = 34; aged 19-55 years)
who had recovered well physically. Methods: Cognitive performance (attention,
information processing, cognitive flexibility, motor regulation, praxis of the
upper limbs) and motor performance (postural balance, agility,
rhythm-co-ordination) were assessed. Partial rank correlation coefficients and
analyses of covariance were used to assess the associations between these tests.
Results: Associations were found between the time taken in both Trail Making
tests and performance time in the agility test (r = 0.57). The score on the Digit
Symbol test correlated with time in the agility test (r = -0.52). Patients with
normal performance in verbal fluency performed the tests of dynamic balance and
agility 26% more quickly than those with abnormal performance. Moreover, patients
with normal performance in the reproduction of rhythmic structures were 20%
faster in the dynamic balance test. Motor functions of the hands associated with
all the motor-performance test results. Conclusion: Measures of information
processing, attention and executive functioning may be associated with motor
performance. Apart from the theoretical relevance, the finding of an association
between cognitive and motor performance may have clinical relevance with regard
to rehabilitation.

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