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Neuropsychological deficit profiles for service members with mild traumatic brain injury.

Brain Injury 2023 July 30
BACKGROUND: Neuropsychological deficits are generally assessed in terms of absolute level of functioning, e.g. high average, average, low average, although there is increased interest in calculating indices of relative degree of decline, e.g. mild, moderate, severe.

OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in demographic, psychiatric, and military-specific characteristics for relative degree of decline in neuropsychological profiles attributed to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among service members (SMs).

METHODS: Data were drawn from an existing clinical database of 269 SMs who received neuropsychological evaluations for TBI (Wechsler Test of Adult Reading, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, California Verbal Learning Test, Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System) at a military treatment facility between 2013 and 2018. Independent sample t-tests and one-way ANOVA tests with pairwise comparisons were performed.

RESULTS: Memory and problem-solving abilities were the most and least affected domains, respectively. Greater relative decline was observed among male and White SMs and those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By contrast, there were no differences in relative decline according to military rank or work status.

CONCLUSION: Relative degree of decline after TBI among SMs is differentially impacted according to neuropsychological domain, with greater impairment among male and White SMs as well as those with PTSD.

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