Research Reports - Differentiated patterns of cognitive impairment 12 months after severe and moderate traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2013 Oct 8

Finnanger TG, Skandsen T, Andersson S, Lydersen S, Vik A, Indredavik M

Abstract Objective: To assess cognitive function at 12 months after moderate and
severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) separately, as well as improvement from 3 to
12 months and relationship to global outcome. Methods: Cognitive function among
patients with moderate (n = 30, Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) 9-3) and severe
traumatic brain injury (n = 20, GCS score ≤ 8), recruited from an unselected
neurosurgical cohort, all with MRI performed in the early phase were assessed
with a neuropsychological test battery and Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended.
Healthy volunteers (n = 47) matched for age, gender and years of education served
as controls. Results: Executive function was reduced at 12-months post-injury in
patients with both moderate and severe TBI. However, motor function, processing
speed and memory were reduced only among patients with severe TBI. Both patients
with moderate and severe TBI improved their processing speed and visual memory.
Patients with moderate TBI also improved motor function, while patients with
severe TBI also improved executive function. Conclusion: Differentiating between
patients with moderate and severe TBI yields a more accurate description of
cognitive deficits and their improvement over time. Further, executive
dysfunction and attention problems affected the ability to resume independent
living and employment regardless of injury severity and age.

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