Objective Neurophysiologic Markers of Cognition After Pediatric Brain Injury.

TitleObjective Neurophysiologic Markers of Cognition After Pediatric Brain Injury.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsKim, N, Watson, W, Caliendo, E, Nowak, S, Schiff, ND, Shah, SA, N Hill, J
JournalNeurol Clin Pract
Date Published10/2022

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Following brain injury, clinical assessments of residual and emerging cognitive function are difficult and fraught with errors. In adults, recent American Academy of Neurology (AAN) practice guidelines recommend objective neuroimaging and neurophysiologic measures to support diagnosis. Equivalent measures are lacking in pediatrics-an especially great challenge due to the combined heterogeneity of both brain injury and pediatric development. Therefore, we aim to establish quantitative, clinically practicable measures of cognitive function following pediatric brain injury.

METHODS: Participants with and without brain injury were aged 8-18 years, clinically classified according to cognitive recovery state: N = 8 in disorders of consciousness (DoC), N = 7 in confusional state, N = 19 cognitively impaired, and N = 13 typically developing uninjured controls. We prospectively measured electroencephalographic markers of sensory processing and attention in an auditory oddball paradigm, and of covert movement attempts in a command-following paradigm.

RESULTS: In 3 participants with DoC, EEG markers of active attempted command following revealed cognitive function that clinical assessment had failed to detect. These same 3 individuals could also be distinguished from the rest of their group by 2 event-related potentials that correlate with sensory processing and orienting attention in the oddball paradigm. Considered across the whole participant group, magnitudes of these 2 ERP markers significantly increased as cognitive recovery progressed (ANOVA: each

DISCUSSION: Despite heterogeneity of brain injuries and brain development, our objective EEG markers reflected cognitive recovery independent of motor function. Two of these markers required no active participation. Together, they allowed us to identify 3 individuals who meet the criteria for cognitive-motor dissociation. To diagnose, prognose, and track cognitive recovery accurately, such markers should be used in pediatrics.

Alternate JournalNeurol Clin Pract
PubMed ID36380885
PubMed Central IDPMC9647802
Grant ListP41 EB018783 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States

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