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Multiple Concussions Result in Greater Cognitive Deficits
Monday, February 27, 2023

A new study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma examined the lifetime traumatic injury and cognitive domain deficits following traumatic brain injury. Most interesting for those representing clients who sustained mild traumatic brain injuries is that the number of prior mild traumatic brain injuries and the role they play in affecting one’s cognitive abilities. 

The study examined the longer-term cognitive effects of traumatic brain injury severity and the number of mild TBI’s in later life. The researchers examined the subset (n=15,764) of the PROTECT Study, a cohort assessing risk factors for cognitive decline between the ages of 50 and 90 years. The study found that those who had suffered at least a single mild TBI demonstrated significantly poorer attention scores at baseline compared with the no head injury group. Compared with those with no mild TBI’s, those in the 3 MTBI group manifested poorer baseline executive function and attention scores, while those who had suffered 4 or more mild traumatic brain injuries demonstrated poorer attention, processing speed, and working memory compared with those reporting no mild traumatic brain injuries. The researchers stated:

“TBI’s associated with fixed, dose and severity-dependent cognitive deficits. The most sensitive cognitive domains are attention and executive function, which approximately double the effect compared with processing speed and working memory. Post-TBI cognitive rehabilitation should be targeted appropriately to domain-specific effects…. Significant long-term cognitive deficits were associates with three or more lifetime MTBI’s, a critical consideration when counselling individuals post-TBI about continuing high-risk activities.”

The citation for the study is Lennon MJ, Brooker H, Creese B, Thayanandan T, Rigney G, Aarsland D, Hampshire A, Ballard C, Corbett A, Raymont V. Lifetime Traumatic Brain Injury and Cognitive Domain Deficits in Late Life: The PROTECT-TBI Cohort Study. J Neurotrauma. 2023 Jan 27. doi: 10.1089/neu.2022.0360. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36716779.

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