Impact of Mild Head Injury on Neuropsychological Performance in Healthy Older Adults: Longitudinal Assessment in the AIBL Cohort
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is suggested to be a significant risk factor for dementia. However, little research has been conducted into long-term neuropsychological outcomes after head trauma. Participants from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing (AIBL) who had recovered after sustaining a mild TBI involving loss of consciousness more than 5 years previously were compared with matched controls across a 3-year period. Bayesian nested-domain modeling was used to estimate the effect of TBI on neuropsychological performance. There was no evidence for a chronic effect of mild TBI on any neuropsychological domain compared to controls. Within the TBI group, there was some evidence suggesting that the age that the head trauma occurred and the duration of unconsciousness were modulators of episodic memory. However, these findings were not robust. Taken together, these findings indicate that adults who have sustained a TBI resulting in loss of consciousness, but who recover to a healthy level of cognitive functioning, do not experience frank deficits in cognitive ability.
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