The impact of level of injury on patterns of cognitive dysfunction in individuals with spinal cord injury

Nancy D. Chiaravalloti, Erica Weber, Glenn Wylie, Trevor Dyson-Hudson, Jill M. Wecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context: While it is well recognized that physical and physiological changes are more prominent in individuals with higher neurologic levels of spinal cord injury (SCI), the impact of level of lesion on cognition is less clear. Design: Cross-sectional, 3-group. Setting: Non-profit rehabilitation research foundation. Participants: 59 individuals with SCI (30 with tetraplegia, 29 with paraplegia) and 30 age-matched healthy controls (HC). Interventions: None. Outcome Measures: Neuropsychological tests in the domains of attention, working memory, processing speed, executive control, and learning and memory. Results: Results indicated significantly lower test performance in individuals with paraplegia on new learning and memory testing compared to HC. In contrast, compared to HC the group with tetraplegia, showed a significantly impaired performance on a processing speed task, and both the tetraplegia and the paraplegia groups were similarly impaired on a verbal fluency measure. SCI groups did not differ on any cognitive measure. Conclusion: Individuals with SCI may display different patterns of cognitive performance based on their level of injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Cognitive deficits
  • Executive functioning
  • Memory
  • Processing speed
  • Spinal cord injury

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