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Predictors of 1-Month and 1-Year Neurocognitive Functioning from the UCLA Longitudinal Mild, Uncomplicated, Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2012

Talin Babikian*
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
David McArthur
Department of Neurosurgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
Robert F. Asarnow
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Talin Babikian, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, 760 Westwood Plaza, Room C8-746, Los Angeles, CA 90095. E-mail:


Although more severe brain injuries have long been associated with persisting neurocognitive deficits, an increasing body of literature has shown that children/adolescents with single, uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) do not exhibit long-lasting neurocognitive impairments. Nonetheless, clinical experience and our previous report (Babikian, 2011) showed that a minority of children/adolescents exhibit persistent cognitive problems using performance based measures following what appear to be relatively mild injuries. Predictors of poor neurocognitive outcomes were evaluated in 76 mTBI and 79 Other Injury subjects to determine the relative contributions of indices of injury severity, clinical symptomatology, demographic factors, and premorbid functioning in predicting 1-month and 12-month neurocognitive impairment on computerized or paper and pencil measures. Injury severity indicators or type of injury (head vs. other body part) did not predict either 1-month or 12-month cognitive impairment status. Rather, premorbid variables that antedated the injury (parental education, premorbid behavior and/or learning problems, and school achievement) predicted cognitive impairments. When post-injury neurocognitive impairments are observed in survivors of mild injuries (head or other body part), a sound understanding of their etiology is critical in designing appropriate intervention plans. Clinical and research implications are discussed. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–10)

Research Articles
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2012

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