Traumatic brain injury: effects of alcohol on cognitive recovery and neurobehavioral outcome



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Texas Tech University


Alcohol intoxication often plays an etiologic role in the occurrence of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Few studies have examined whether pre-injury alcohol usage exacerbates cognitive impairment and neurobehavioral problems that commonly occur secondary to TBI. Research was conducted to examine the influence of blood alcohol level (BAL) at time of TBI on cognitive recovery and neurobehavioral adjustment. Results indicated that BAL was predictive of poorer performance on tests of delayed verbal memory and visuospatial functioning and demonstrated predictive trends on tests of immediate verbal memory and perseveration during the post-acute stage of recovery. During late stage recovery, BAL was negatively associated with changes in immediate verbal memory and to a neurobehavioral measure of energy, mood, and activity level.