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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2000 Jun;22(3):325-38.

Executive functioning, attention and frontal lesions in patients with chronic CHI.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, Groningen State University, Groningen, Netherlands.


To study the presence and nature of dysexecutive problems after CHI, a series of unstructured tasks tapping executive functioning were selected. These were administered to a group of 51 participants with CHI in the chronic stage (i.e. several years post-injury) and to 45 healthy controls. In addition, well-known structured tests of attention and planning were administered. Of the executive tasks, only the Executive Route Finding task showed a significant difference between both groups. A multivariate analysis on the attention tests showed a significant difference between groups, indicating that patients in the chronic stage still process information slower than controls. Within the patient group, patients with and without frontal focal lesions were also compared on executive and attention tests. No differences were found with respect to the latter. However, patients with frontal lesions performed worse on a measure of the Executive Route Finding task. It is concluded that patients with CHI, especially when they have frontal damage, have to rely more heavily on externally provided cues, but this dysexecutive problem can only be demonstrated in tasks that resemble daily life tasks by providing very little structure.

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