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Neuropsychological Outcomes of U.S. Veterans with Report of Remote Blast-Related Concussion and Current Psychopathology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2012

Nathaniel W. Nelson*
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota
James B. Hoelzle
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Bridget M. Doane
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kathryn A. McGuire
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Amanda G. Ferrier-Auerbach
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Molly J. Charlesworth
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Gregory J. Lamberty
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Melissa A. Polusny
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Paul A. Arbisi
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Scott R. Sponheim
Affiliation:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Nathaniel W. Nelson, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of St. Thomas, MOH 217, 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403. E-mail: nels0600@stthomas.edu

Abstract

This study explored whether remote blast-related MTBI and/or current Axis I psychopathology contribute to neuropsychological outcomes among OEF/OIF veterans with varied combat histories. OEF/OIF veterans underwent structured interviews to evaluate history of blast-related MTBI and psychopathology and were assigned to MTBI (n = 18), Axis I (n = 24), Co-morbid MTBI/Axis I (n = 34), or post-deployment control (n = 28) groups. A main effect for Axis I diagnosis on overall neuropsychological performance was identified (F(3,100) = 4.81; p = .004), with large effect sizes noted for the Axis I only (d = .98) and Co-morbid MTBI/Axis I (d = .95) groups relative to the control group. The latter groups demonstrated primary limitations on measures of learning/memory and processing speed. The MTBI only group demonstrated performances that were not significantly different from the remaining three groups. These findings suggest that a remote history of blast-related MTBI does not contribute to objective cognitive impairment in the late stage of injury. Impairments, when present, are subtle and most likely attributable to PTSD and other psychological conditions. Implications for clinical neuropsychologists and future research are discussed. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–11)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2012

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