Cognitive and motor function are associated following mild traumatic brain injury


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) causes deficits in motor and cognitive function. There is a dearth of research examining the association between these deficits. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of mTBI on the association between cognitive and motor function. Thirty-six individuals completed a neurocognitive test battery and postural control assessment at baseline and were retested 24-h post mTBI. Reaction time and accuracy to various cognitive tasks was assessed. Postural control was indexed with the somatosenory organization test. This test allows for the decomposition of postural control resulting from the integration of visual, somatosensory and vestibular information. The association between cognitive and motor function was assessed with correlational analyses. Overall, it was found that mTBI resulted in increased simple and choice reaction time as well as deficits in verbal and visual memory. mTBI was also found to reduce overall postural control, especially when visual information was utilized. Prior to injury there was no association between cognitive and motor function—indicating minimal association between cognitive and motor function. After injury there were significant positive correlations between cognitive and motor function. The findings suggest that transient neural insults resulting from mTBI lead to increased cognitive-motor association. It is speculated that a shared neural process, such as visuospatial attention is damaged resulting in similar deficits in cognitive and motor function.



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Experimental Brain Research



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© Springer-Verlag 2008