Poster C47, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
EEG dissociates acute brain injury patients from controls during visuospatial working memory
James Broadway1, Rebecca Rieger1, Kevin Wilson1, Andrew Mayer2, James Cavanagh1; 1University of New Mexico, 2Mind Research Network
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a prevalent affliction for which accurate and objective diagnosis continues to pose major challenges to clinicians, hampering effective treatment. Moreover, little is known about neurocognitive correlates of acute-stage (< 2 weeks post-injury) mTBI. Here we report results from an initial cohort of a large-scale longitudinal study of individuals with mTBI. Acute-stage mTBI patients (N = 12) and healthy age-matched controls (N = 14) were administered a large battery of neuropsychological tests assessing general intelligence and cognitive function, as well as questionnaires assessing somatic, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. To assess cognitive function, participants performed a visuospatial working memory (VSWM) task while EEG was recorded. Accounting for inter-individual variability in age and somatic complaints, patients were less accurate than controls under low and high WM load, but groups did not differ in the ability to filter distracting information. Patients had significantly diminished EEG power (~1-18 Hz) during active maintenance in all conditions, and significantly diminished higher-frequency (~12-18 Hz) power for load-dependent maintenance (high minus low). These findings suggest EEG may be a potentially useful biomarker of cognitive difficulties associated with VSWM in mTBI.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory