Neuropsychological Impairments After Spinal Cord Injury: A Comparative Study With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo determine if individuals with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) perform differently on neuropsychological measures than individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) having no loss of consciousness.Design and ParticipantsData were collected prospectively on 33 matched pairs of individuals with SCI or MTBI. Independent t tests were performed to identify differences between the SCI and MTBI groups.ResultsAlthough those with SCI generally outperformed individuals with MTBI, no meaningful between-groups differences were noted on 5 of the 10 neuropsychological tests administered. Greater than 40% of the SCI patients were identified as having impairments in processing speed, motor speed, and verbal learning.ConclusionsTreatment planning after SCI should include procedures to identify cognitive deficits that may complicate adjustment to disability and delay acquisition of new skills.

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