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The UCLA Longitudinal Study of Neurocognitive Outcomes Following Mild Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Talin Babikian (a1), Paul Satz (a1), Ken Zaucha (a1), Roger Light (a1) (a2), Richard S. Lewis (a3) and Robert F. Asarnow (a1) (a4)...

Comprehensive reviews of neurocognitive outcomes following mild, uncomplicated traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children have shown minimal effects on neurocognition, especially in methodologically rigorous studies. In this study, we report longitudinal (1, 6, and 12 months post injury) results in four domains of neurocognitive functioning in a large sample of children with mild TBI (n = 124, ages 8–17 at injury) relative to two demographically matched control groups (other injury: n = 94 and non-injury: n = 106). After accounting for age and parental education, significant main effects of group were observed on 7 of the 10 neurocognitive tests. However, these differences were not unique to the TBI sample but were found between both the TBI and other injury groups relative to the non-injured group, suggesting a general injury effect. Effects were primarily within the domains measuring memory, psychomotor processing speed, and language. This is the largest longitudinal study to date of neurocognitive outcomes at discrete time points in pediatric mild TBI. When controlling for pre-injury factors, there is no evidence of long-term neurocognitive impairment in this group relative to another injury control group. The importance of longitudinal analyses and use of appropriate control groups are discussed in the context of evaluating the effects of mild TBI on cognition. (JINS, 2011, 17, 886–895)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Talin Babikian, PhD, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, 760 Westwood Plaza, Room C8-746, Los Angeles, CA 90024. E-mail:
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Now deceased; Dr. Satz played a key role in the development of this project.

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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
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