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Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) often suffer from a number of enduring cognitive impairments such as in attention, memory, speed of processing information and dual-task performance.
The aim of this study was to assess the patterns of regional brain activation in response to the Tower of London (ToL) task in a group of patients suffering from chronic TBI using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
fMRI was performed during performance of the ToL planning task in 10 patients suffering from severe TBI and in 10 age- and sex-matched controls using a 3 T magnetic resonance scanner.
Performance data showed no difference in response accuracy between the TBI group and the healthy control group. Statistical parametric brain maps showed that the TBI group activates larger and additional areas of the cerebral cortex than the healthy control group both for tasks and for a subtraction contrast between the tasks.
The results of this study are interpreted as a cortical reorganization inside the executive system of vigilance and working memory in patients with TBI. Both parietal and frontal areas are recruited to compensate for damaged brain tissue.
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