Verbal learning and memory deficits in traumatic brain injury: Encoding, consolidation, and retrieval
ABSTRACT The present study examined the nature of verbal memory deficits in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) compared to healthy controls. The study was designed to control for methodological shortcomings of previous related research. Three groups of participants were used: (a) a head injured sample with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (N=55), (b) a control sample matched on age and initial performance on CVLT Trial 5 and Sum of Trials 1 to 5 (N=55), and (c) a control sample matched on age, education, and race, but not on initial CVLT learning performance (N=55). Current findings indicate that: (a) rate of learning was comparable across groups, consistent with no encoding differences, (b) TBI patients have a significantly more rapid rate of forgetting of new information than either acquisition-matched or demographic-matched controls, consistent with consolidation problems in TBI, (c) TBI patients have less proactive interference than demographic-matched control participants, consistent with a consolidation problem in the TBI group, (d) TBI patients and acquisition-matched controls have comparably low rates of proactive interference, consistent with impaired acquisition in both of these groups, and (e) TBI patients and controls do not differ in the benefit experienced from semantic or recognition retrieval cues, consistent with no differences in retrieval processes. These data support an impaired consolidation hypothesis, rather than encoding or retrieval deficits, as the primary deficit underlying memory impairment in TBI.
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ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in cognitive impairments and persistent postconcussive symptoms that limit functional recovery, including return to work. We evaluated a 12 wk compensatory cognitive training intervention (Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy [CogSMART]) in the context of supported employment for Veterans with mild to moderate TBI. Participants were randomly assigned to receive 12 wk of supported employment plus CogSMART or enhanced supported employment that controlled for therapist attention (control). CogSMART sessions were delivered by the employment specialist and included psychoeducation regarding TBI; strategies to improve sleep, fatigue, headaches, and tension; and compensatory cognitive strategies in the domains of prospective memory, attention, learning and memory, and executive functioning. Compared with controls, those assigned to supported employment plus CogSMART demonstrated significant reductions in postconcussive symptoms (Cohen d = 0.97) and improvements in prospective memory functioning (Cohen d = 0.72). Effect sizes favoring CogSMART for posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity, depressive symptom severity, and attainment of competitive work within 14 wk were in the small to medium range (Cohen d = 0.35-0.49). Those who received CogSMART rated the intervention highly. Results suggest that adding CogSMART to supported employment may improve postconcussive symptoms and prospective memory. These effects, as well as smaller effects on psychiatric symptoms and ability to return to work, warrant replication in a larger trial.The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 04/2014; 51(1):59-70. DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2013.01.0020 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess consolidation in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), controlling for differences in initial learning and using a protracted delay period for recall. Method: 15 individuals with aMCI were compared with 15 healthy older adult controls on a story learning task. Subjects were trained to criteria to equalize initial learning across subjects. Recall was tested at both the 30-min typically used delay and a 1-week delay used to target consolidation. Results: Using repeated measures ANOVAs adjusted for age, we found group × time point interactions across the entire task between the final trial and 30-min delay, and again between the 30-min and 1-week delay periods, with aMCI having greater declines in recall as compared with controls. Significant group main effects were also found, with aMCI recalling less than controls. Conclusion: Consolidation was impaired in aMCI as compared with controls. Our findings indicate that aMCI-related performance typically measured at 30 min underestimates aMCI-associated memory deficits. This is the first study to isolate consolidation by controlling for initial learning differences and using a protracted delay period to target consolidation in an aMCI sample. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).Neuropsychology 11/2013; 28(2). DOI:10.1037/neu0000013 · 3.58 Impact Factor