West Orange, NJ. August 12, 2014. Kessler Foundation scientists have identified predictors of prospective memory impairment after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Findings were epublished on July 28 by the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. The article, "Rule monitoring ability predicts event-based prospective memory performance in individuals with TBI," is authored by Jessica Paxton, PhD, and Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, of Kessler Foundation. This is the first study to examine the role of rule monitoring, an executive function, post-TBI.
Prospective memory refers to the ability to remember events that will occur in the future, i.e., a doctor's appointment; a medication schedule. This ability, also referred to as 'remembering to remember' is often impaired following TBI, creating challenges in performance of activities of daily living. Little research has been done, however, on the relationship between the cognitive processes involved in deficits in prospective memory and retrospective memory in individuals living with TBI.
"It has been hypothesized that persons with TBI who have impaired retrospective memory may rely on a specific executive function called rule monitoring in the retrieval process for prospective memory tasks," noted Dr. Chiaravalloti. "We looked the relationship between prospective memory and two aspects of executive functioning – rule monitoring (the ability to avoid errors on executive function tests), and total achievement on tests of executive function."
Participants were 45 individuals who were at least one-year post moderate/severe TBI. They were evaluated with the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test. Results showed variability in the cognitive processes used in prospective memory tasks, most likely due to differences in retrospective memory abilities. "We found that retrospective memory performance correlated with total executive function, but not rule monitoring," said Dr. Chiaravalloti. "This may indicate that rule monitoring facilitates more accurate prospective memory in individuals with TBI."
These results have implications for cognitive rehabilitation research and care. Rule monitoring, which is not commonly tested during neuropsychological evaluations, is a measure that should be included in clinical assessments of memory performance in this population. Future research needs to address the component executive processes involved in rule monitoring and performance on prospective memory tasks.
The National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) (H113A090037; H113P090009) supported this study.
Recent relevant publication: Yael Goverover, Nancy D. Chiaravalloti: The impact of self-awareness and depression on subjective reports of memory, quality- of-life and satisfaction with life following TBI. Brain Injury. Feb 2014 (doi:10.3109/02699052.2013.860474)
About TBI Research at Kessler Foundation
Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, is director of TBI Research and Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research. Dr. Chiaravalloti is project director of the Northern New Jersey TBI System (NNJTBIS), a collaborative effort of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and local hospitals. John DeLuca, PhD, is co-project director. NNJTBIS is one of 16 federally funded model systems that form a national comprehensive system of care, research, education and dissemination aimed at improving quality of life for people with TBI. NNJTBIS is supported by grant #H133A120030 from NIDRR. In addition to NIDRR and NIH, TBI research is also funded by the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Children's Specialized Hospital. Kessler Foundation researchers have faculty appointments in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org. facebook.com/KesslerFoundation
Carolann Murphy, PA; 973.324.8382; CMurphy@KesslerFoundation.org
Lauren Scrivo, 973.324.8384/973.768.6583 (cell); LScrivo@KesslerFoundation.org
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