Research Reports - Evidence of cognitive decline in older adults after remote traumatic brain injury

Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2014 Dec 23:1-17

Ozen LJ(1), Fernandes MA, Clark AJ, Roy EA

Separate bodies of literature indicate that a history of a traumatic brain injury
(TBI) and natural aging may result in overlapping cognitive profiles, yet little
is known about their combined effect. We predicted that a remote TBI would
compound normal age-related cognitive decline, particularly affecting executive
function. Neuropsychological task performance was compared between a group of
older adults who sustained a TBI in their distant past (N = 9) and a group of
older adults with no history of head injury (N = 15). While all participants
scored in the normal range on the Mini-Mental State Examination, the TBI group
scored lower than the non-TBI group. Also, in line with predictions, the TBI
group made more errors on measures of executive functioning compared to the
non-TBI group (the Trail Making B test and the incongruent condition of the
Stroop Test), but performed similarly on all tasks with little executive
requirements. Findings from this exploratory study indicate that a past TBI may
put older adults at a higher risk for exacerbated age-related cognitive decline
compared to older adults with no history of TBI.

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