Cognitive impairment following closed head injury

Neurol Clin. 1992 Nov;10(4):879-93.


Cognitive impairments are usually the most disabling sequelae of CHI. The earliest stage of recovery from moderate to severe closed head injury is a period of PTA that typically includes memory loss for events preceding and surrounding the injury and memory loss for events occurring since the injury. Following resolution of PTA, deficits may be present in a number of cognitive domains. Memory and attention/information processing speed and efficiency are typically the cognitive domains most severely affected by head injury. Intellectual, language, and perceptual skills tend to be relatively preserved. Neurologic variables such as pupillary reactivity and worst GCS score are prognostic of cognitive impairment at 1 to 2 years postinjury. Following mild head injury, impairments of memory and information processing may be apparent within the first week of recovery. These deficits usually resolve in 1 to 3 months, although chronic complaints persist in a minority of individuals. The long-term cognitive effects of CHI are typically more severe for younger children than older children. Neuropsychologic assessment provides an objective way to measure the presence and severity of cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / psychology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / injuries
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnosis*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / physiopathology
  • Head Injuries, Closed / psychology
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests*