Research Reports - The influence of chronic cigarette smoking on neurocognitive recovery after mild traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jun 1;30(11):1013-22

Durazzo TC, Abadjian L, Kincaid A, Bilovsky-Muniz T, Boreta L, Gauger GE

Abstract The majority of the approximately 1.7 million civilians in the United
States who seek emergency care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) are classified as
mild (MTBI). Premorbid and comorbid conditions that commonly accompany MTBI may
influence neurocognitive and functional recovery. This study assessed the
influence of chronic smoking and hazardous alcohol consumption on neurocognitive
recovery after MTBI. A comprehensive neurocognitive battery was administered to
25 non-smoking MTBI participants (nsMTBI), 19 smoking MTBI (sMTBI) 38±22 days
(assessment point 1: AP1) and 230±36 (assessment point 2: AP2) days after injury.
Twenty non-smoking light drinkers served as controls (CON). At AP1, nsMTBI and
sMTBI were inferior to CON on measures of auditory-verbal learning and memory;
nsMTBI performed more poorly than CON on processing speed and global
neurocognition, and sMTBI performed worse than CON on working memory measures;
nsMTBI were inferior to sMTBI on visuospatial memory. Over the AP1-AP2 interval,
nsMTBI showed significantly greater improvement than sMTBI on measures of
processing speed, visuospatial learning and memory, visuospatial skills, and
global neurocognition, whereas sMTBI only showed significant improvement on
executive skills. At AP2, sMTBI remained inferior to CON on auditory-verbal
learning and auditory-verbal memory; there were no significant differences
between nsMTBI and CON or among nsMTBI and sMTBI on any domain at AP2. Hazardous
alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with change in any
neurocognitive domain. For sMTBI, over the AP1-AP2 interval, greater lifetime
duration of smoking and pack-years were related to significantly less improvement
on multiple domains. Results suggest consideration of the effects of chronic
cigarette smoking is necessary to understand the potential factors influencing
neurocognitive recovery after MTBI.

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