Research Reports - Unravelling the influence of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) on cognitive-linguistic processing

Brain Inj. 2013 Apr 23

Barwood CH, Murdoch BE

Abstract Background: Cognitive-linguistic deficits often accompany traumatic
brain injury (TBI) and can negatively impact communicative competency. The
linguistic sequelae underpinning mild TBI (MTBI) remain largely unexplored in
contemporary literature. Objectives: The present research methods aim to provide
group evidence pertaining to the influence of MTBI on linguistic and higher-level
language processing. Extrapolating on the findings of recent case reports, it is
hypothesized that performance of the MTBI patients will be significantly reduced
compared to normal controls performance on the employed high-level linguistic
tasks. Methods: Sixteen patients with MTBI and 16 age- and education-matched
normal control participants were assessed using a comprehensive battery of
cognitive-linguistic assessments. Results: The results demonstrated statistically
significant differences between MTBI and normal control group performance across
a number of higher-level linguistic, general cognitive and general language
tasks. MTBI group performance was significantly lower than the normal control
group on tasks requiring complex lexical semantic operations and memory demands,
including: Recall, organization, making inferences, naming and
perception/discrimination. Conclusions: These outcomes confer that post-MTBI,
cognitive, high-level language and isolated general language performance (e.g.
naming) is significantly reduced in MTBI patients, compared to normal controls.
Furthermore, the detailed cognitive-linguistic profile offered provides a
necessary direction for the identification of areas of linguistic decline in MTBI
and targets for therapeutic intervention of impaired cognitive-linguistic
processes to ultimately improve communicative outcomes in MTBI.

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