Comparisons of electrophysiological markers of impaired executive attention after traumatic brain injury and in healthy aging.

TitleComparisons of electrophysiological markers of impaired executive attention after traumatic brain injury and in healthy aging.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsKim, N, Jamison, K, Jaywant, A, Garetti, J, Blunt, E, RoyChoudhury, A, Butler, T, Dams-O'Connor, K, Khedr, S, Chen, C-C, Shetty, T, Winchell, R, N Hill, J, Schiff, ND, Kuceyeski, A, Shah, SA
Date Published07/2023
KeywordsAged, Aging, Biomarkers, Brain Injuries, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Executive Function, Healthy Aging, Humans, Neuropsychological Tests

Executive attention impairments are a persistent and debilitating consequence of traumatic brain injury (TBI). To make headway towards treating and predicting outcomes following heterogeneous TBI, cognitive impairment specific pathophysiology first needs to be characterized. In a prospective observational study, we measured EEG during the attention network test aimed at detecting alerting, orienting, executive attention and processing speed. The sample (N = 110) of subjects aged 18-86 included those with and without traumatic brain injury: n = 27, complicated mild TBI; n = 5, moderate TBI; n = 10, severe TBI; n = 63, non-brain-injured controls. Subjects with TBI had impairments in processing speed and executive attention. Electrophysiological markers of executive attention processing in the midline frontal regions reveal that, as a group, those with TBI and elderly non-brain-injured controls have reduced responses. We also note that those with TBI and elderly controls have responses that are similar for both low and high-demand trials. In subjects with moderate-severe TBI, reductions in frontal cortical activation and performance profiles are both similar to that of controls who are ∼4 to 7 years older. Our specific observations of frontal response reductions in subjects with TBI and in older adults is consistent with the suggested role of the anterior forebrain mesocircuit as underlying cognitive impairments. Our results provide novel correlative data linking specific pathophysiological mechanisms underlying domain-specific cognitive deficits following TBI and with normal aging. Collectively, our findings provide biomarkers that may serve to track therapeutic interventions and guide development of targeted therapeutics following brain injuries.

Alternate JournalNeuroimage
PubMed ID37191655
PubMed Central IDPMC10286242
Grant ListP41 EB018783 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS102646 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
RF1 NS115268 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
UL1 TR002384 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States

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