Auditory/Verbal Learning and Memory Deficits among Individuals with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries May Be Attributable to Undocumented Traumatic Brain Injuries (pp. 9-16)
Authors: Samuel T. Gontkovsky
Abstract: Objectives: To examine the auditory/verbal learning and memory functioning of individuals undergoing acute inpatient rehabilitation following traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCIs) with an absence of factors that might account for reduced levels of cognitive performance other than undocumented traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Setting: Physical rehabilitation center, United States.
Methods: Participants were 21 individuals recruited according to strict inclusionary/exclusionary criteria from consecutive adult admissions for acute inpatient rehabilitation following traumatic SCIs who were administered the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R). Results: Reduced participant performances were noted on three of four index scores of the HVLT-R.
Conclusions: Individuals with traumatic SCIs demonstrate reduced levels of functioning on formal measures of auditory/verbal learning and memory that may well be attributable to undocumented TBIs. Increased cognitive screening among individuals with traumatic SCIs should be considered in order to identify potential deficits that may serve as a barrier to successful rehabilitation and positive outcomes.