Research Reports - Association between traumatic brain injury and long-term caregiver burden

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2015 Jun 19

Guevara AB(1), Demonet JF, Polejaeva E, Knutson KM, Wassermann EM, Grafman J,
Krueger F

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between traumatic brain injury
(TBI)-related brain lesions and long-term caregiver burden in relation to
dysexecutive syndrome.
SETTING: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National
Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 256 participants: 105 combat veterans with TBI, 23
healthy control combat veterans (HCv), and 128 caregivers.
OUTCOME MEASURE: Caregiver burden assessed by the Zarit Burden Interview at 40
years postinjury.
DESIGN: Participants with penetrating TBI were compared with HCv on perceived
caregiver burden and neuropsychological assessment measures. Data of computed
tomographic scans (overlay lesion maps of participants with a penetrating TBI
whose caregivers have a significantly high burden) and behavioral statistical
analyses were combined to identify brain lesions associated with caregiver
RESULTS: Burden was greater in caregivers of veterans with TBI than in caregivers
of HCv. Caregivers of participants with lesions affecting cognitive and
behavioral indicators of dysexecutive syndrome (ie, left dorsolateral prefrontal
cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) showed greater long-term burden than
caregivers of participants with lesions elsewhere in the brain.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATION: The TBI-related brain lesions have a lasting effect
on long-term caregiver burden due to cognitive and behavioral factors associated
with dysexecutive syndrome.

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