Recovery of memory following closed head injury



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The acute effects of severe closed head injury (CHI) on memory, and recovery of memory in the first posttraumatic year, were studied longitudinally in 63 patients. A memory test battery was administered within six months of injury and again up to 13 months post trauma. Data from subjects tested three times during the year were subjected to descriptive analysis of recovery patterns. The effects of injury severity, indexed by post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) duration, on memory and its recovery were also studied. Consistent with previous research, acute impairment was observed on most tasks of learning and memory exceeding the immediate span. Significant improvement occurred on all measures that had indicated acute dysfunction. In contrast to previous findings, PTA was not significantly related to initial level of impairment or to magnitude of recovery. Reasons for these discrepancies, and implications for research on recovery of cognition after CHI, are discussed.



Head--Wounds and injuries, Memory disorders