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Predictive value of rapid tests of cognitive condition in head injury
INTRODUCTION. Neuropsychological assessment after head injury (HI) is sometimes not possible because of the physical and/or cognitive condition of the patient, or the lack of neuropsychological specialists at the hospital. Therefore clinical scales and rapid tests are used to obtain information about the severity of the lesion and the general cognitive condition. OBJECTIVE. To determine whether the rapid clinical scales used to assess the severity of HI (Glasgow Coma Scale, GCS), presence or absence of post-traumatic amnesia (Galveston Orientation and Amnesia Test, GOAT) and general cognitive condition (Mini-Mental State Examination, MMSE, and Short Test of Mental Status, STMS) predict the cognitive condition one year after the head injury.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We made a prospective, longitudinal, observational study of 100 persons of both sexes with HI, assessed on admission by the Neurosurgical Department, and one year after the trauma in the Outpatient Clinic. Clinical scales were used to assess the severity of HI, cognitive screening tests, neuropsychological attention, linguistic, memory and practical constructive tests were also done. Statistical analysis was by simple regression.
RESULTS. The GCS only explained a small percentage of the results obtained for immediate memory. The GOAT predicted the linguistic and verbal memory test performance. The MMSE and STMS explained a high proportion of the execution of neurophychological tasks (attention, linguistic, memory and practical construction) one year after the trauma.