Cognitive Function Following Long-Term Spinal Cord Injury

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Although age-related changes in cognition are well documented, little is known about the effect of chronic disability on memory performance. This study investigated age differences between younger and elderly adults with long-term spinal cord injury, using a variety of measures of memory and self-assessments of cognitive abilities. Advanced age was associated with poorer memory performance, but neither level of injury on the spinal cord (cervical versus thoracolumbar lesions) nor duration of the injury predicted memory test scores. The two age groups were similar in their self-ratings of many attentional and memory abilities, as well as activity and affective level, consistent with good adjustment over long periods of disability.

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