Appl Neuropsychol Adult. 2023 Oct 25:1-9. doi: 10.1080/23279095.2023.2266080. Online ahead of print.
Executive functions (EF) were the critical neuropsychological functions linked to long-term adaptation. Given the heterogeneous prognosis trajectories of mild traumatic brain jury (mTBI), the mildest TBI may not always be benign in the chronic stage. The present study explored the long-term EF in patients with chronic complicated mTBI and a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 15. Fifty patients with complicated mTBI and GCS scores of 15 and 35 control participants were recruited in this study. Medical records were retrospectively analyzed, and neuropsychological assessments and subjective measures examined the neuropsychological functions. Compared with healthy controls, complicated mTBI patients with a GCS score of 15 performed significantly worse on most EF assessments, including longer reaction time (RT) and poor cognitive flexibility and abstract reasoning performances. Patients also reported more EF problems and lower quality of life (QoL) than healthy controls. Females and those with subdural hematoma (SDH) had significantly longer reaction times (RT) on executive attention tests. This study found that complicated mTBI with a GCS score of 15 had incomplete recovery of EF, even in the chronic stage. We suggest that early neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation should be arranged for such patients.