Long-term Cognitive Impairment Following Concussion: Findings from the CLSA

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A small subset of individuals who have experienced a concussion may experience persistent cognitive deficits more than a year following the head injury. Neuroimaging studies suggest that changes in frontal areas of the brain are exacerbated when loss of consciousness is experienced and indicate that these changes may be progressive in nature for some people. Analyses were run on Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) neuropsychological data, consisting of individuals who experienced concussion with loss of consciousness more than a year prior, compared against no-head injury comparisons. These same individuals were re-assessed three years later.

This webinar presents results showing that a small subset of individuals is likely to be cognitively impaired relative to comparisons. At three-years follow-up, those who experienced concussion with longer duration of unconsciousness were more likely to exhibit cognitive decline relative to those who experienced less unconsciousness or comparisons. Greater perceived social support was predictive of lessened cognitive deterioration in those individuals.

Marc Bedard is currently a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa, where he is working toward developing competency in both clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology. As a Vanier Scholar supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health and Research, his doctoral research examined the long-term impacts on cognitive functioning following concussion. His pre-doctoral research examined the impact of chemotherapy treatments on cognitive functioning in breast cancer survivors.

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