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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2006 Sep;12(5):697-706.

Impulsivity, reward sensitivity, and decision-making in subarachnoid hemorrhage survivors.

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Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) survivors often report psychosocial and emotional changes, including a diminished capacity for decision making. However, systematic investigations into the nature of the changes have been limited to those patients surviving SAH secondary to aneurysms of the anterior communicating artery. This study aimed to explore the nature of decision making in survivors of SAH secondary to aneurysms of the middle cerebral or posterior communicating artery using a series of computerized tasks. Twenty SAH survivors and 20 matched controls completed a battery of computerized decision-making tasks. These included tasks examining an individual's ability to make probabilistic choices and risk-taking behavior, as well as tasks examining aspects of impulsivity. The results revealed two key patterns of abnormal decision-making behavior in the SAH survivors: altered sensitivity to both reward and punishment, and impulsive responding. These complex deficits may contribute to difficulties in daily living resulting from apathy, poor judgment, or inhibition in SAH survivors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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