Neuroanatomic correlates of CVLT-C performance following pediatric traumatic brain injury

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently results in memory problems, and the degree of memory impairment is related to injury severity and is commonly associated with lesions in frontal and temporal brain areas. This study examined the relationship among injury severity, brain lesions, and memory in children with moderate to severe TBI using Donders' (1999) 5-factor model of performance on the California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version (CVLT-C). Seventy-six children underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans 3 months post-TBI and testing 1 year post-TBI. Results showed injury severity (Glasgow Coma Scale) was not predictive of performance on 4 of the 5 factors. Volume of frontal and/or temporal brain lesions was significantly predictive of performance on 3 of the 5 factors. Unexpectedly, lesion volume outside these areas (extra-frontotemporal) was predictive of performance on all 5 factors. In contrast, Verbal IQ at 1 year was most strongly associated with preinjury factors (socioeconomic status and special education involvement), although extra-frontotemporal lesions also contributed to the variability in this measure. Results suggest that in children with moderate to severe TBI, extra-frontal/temporal lesions are predictive of memory outcome 1 year postinjury above and beyond initial severity or frontal/temporal contusions. This finding may relate to widespread diffuse axonal injury, which potentially disconnects brain circuits mediating memory following moderate to severe TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-696
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Children
  • Diffuse brain injury
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Memory
  • Neuropsychological test
  • TBI (Trumatic brain injury)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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