Long-term neuropsychological outcome after traumatic brain injury

Academic Article


  • Objective: To describe neuropsychological outcome 5 years after injury in persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who received inpatient medical rehabilitation. To determine the magnitude and pattern neuropsychological recovery from 1 year to 5 years after injury. Design: Longitudinal cohort study with inclusion based on the availability of neuropsychological data at 1 year and 5 years after injury. Setting: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems of Care. Participants: One hundred eighty-two persons with complicated mild to severe traumatic brain injury. Primary Outcome Measures: Digits Forward and Backward, Logical Memory I and II, Token Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Trail Making Test, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Visual Form Discrimination, Block Design, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and Grooved Pegboard. Results: Significant variability in outcome was found 5 years after TBI, ranging from no measurable impairment to severe impairment on neuropsychological tests. Improvement from 1 year after injury to 5 years was also variable. Using the Reliable Change Index, 22.2% improved, 15.2% declined, and 62.6% were unchanged on test measures. Conclusions: Neuropsychological recovery, after TBI is not uniform across individuals and neuropsychological domains. For a subset of persons with moderate to severe TBI, neuropsychological recovery may continue several years after injury with substantial recovery. For other persons, measurable impairment remains 5 years after injury. Improvement was most apparent on measures of cognitive speed, visuoconstruction, and verbal memory.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Millis SR; Rosenthal M; Novack TA; Sherer M; Nick TG; Kreutzer JS; High WM; Ricker JH
  • Start Page

  • 343
  • End Page

  • 355
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 4