Attentional functioning in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder: a preliminary study

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
CNS spectrums (Impact Factor: 2.71). 01/2013; 18(2):1-5. DOI: 10.1017/S1092852912000909
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objective:
To compare patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to patients without psychiatric or cognitive disorders on neuropsychological measures of attention.

The sample included 19 patients with PTSD and 22 participants with no cognitive or psychiatric diagnosis. All had been referred for clinical neuropsychological evaluation at a VA Medical Center. None were diagnosed with dementia, delirium, or current substance dependence except nicotine or caffeine, and none had a history of stroke or of traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness. Patients were excluded if they failed to exert adequate effort on testing.

PTSD patients performed significantly more poorly than patients without psychiatric diagnoses on Digit Span.

PTSD patients were impaired relative to participants without psychiatric diagnoses on a measure of focused attention. Several factors, including the small sample size, suggest that the results should be considered preliminary.

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