Neuropsychological functioning following complicated vs. uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2009 Feb;23(2):83-91. doi: 10.1080/02699050802635281.


Objective: It would be logical to assume that patients with intracranial abnormalities (i.e. complicated MTBIs) would have worse outcome than patients without these abnormalities (i.e. uncomplicated MTBIs). However, the literature is limited and somewhat mixed regarding outcome in patients with complicated mild TBIs. The purpose of this study is to employ a carefully controlled research design to compare the acute neuropsychological functioning of patients following complicated and uncomplicated MTBI.

Method: Participants were 20 patients with complicated MTBI and 20 patients with uncomplicated MTBI selected from an archival database of 465 patients. Patients were carefully matched on age, education, gender, ethnicity, days assessed post-injury and mechanism of injury. Patients were assessed an average of 3.5 days (SD = 1.9) post-injury with 13 common cognitive variables.

Results: There were significant group differences on only three of the 13 cognitive measures (complicated mild TBI worse than uncomplicated mild TBI). There were no significant differences in the proportion of impaired scores between groups on all measures, with the exception of Hopkins Verbal Learning Test Delayed Recall.

Conclusion: Patients with complicated MTBIs performed more poorly only on a small number of tests during the acute recovery period.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology*
  • Brain Concussion / psychology
  • Brain Concussion / rehabilitation
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices