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The UCLA Study of Children with Moderate-to-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Event-Related Potential Measure of Interhemispheric Transfer Time


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently results in diffuse axonal injury and other white matter damage. The corpus callosum (CC) is particularly vulnerable to injury following TBI. Damage to this white matter tract has been associated with impaired neurocognitive functioning in children with TBI. Event-related potentials can identify stimulus-locked neural activity with high temporal resolution. They were used in this study to measure interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT) as an indicator of CC integrity in 44 children with moderate/severe TBI at 3-5 months post-injury, compared with 39 healthy control children. Neurocognitive performance also was examined in these groups. Nearly half of the children with TBI had IHTTs that were outside the range of the healthy control group children. This subgroup of TBI children with slow IHTT also had significantly poorer neurocognitive functioning than healthy controls-even after correction for premorbid intellectual functioning. We discuss alternative models for the relationship between IHTT and neurocognitive functioning following TBI. Slow IHTT may be a biomarker that identifies children at risk for poor cognitive functioning following moderate/severe TBI.

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