Alcohol Abuse and Traumatic Brain Injury: Effect on Event-Related Potentials
Baguley, IJ and Felmingham, KL and Lahz, S and Gordon, E and Lazzaro, I and Schotte, DE, Alcohol Abuse and Traumatic Brain Injury: Effect on Event-Related Potentials, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 78, (11) pp. 1248-1253. ISSN 0003-9993 (1997) [Refereed Article]
Objective: To examine the individual and combined impact
that traumatic brain injury (TBI) and heavy social use of alcohol
have on electrophysiologic correlates of working memory and
evaluation of task-relevant information.
Design: Case-control study
Setting: University hospital brain injury rehabilitation unit.
Participants: Forty male volunteers divided into four groups
on the basis of their history of TBI and alcohol intake. Subjects
with TBI had experienced a severe closed head injury at least
1 year before testing.
Main Outcome Measure: Event-related potentials (ERFs)
and neuropsychometric tests.
Results: Groups showed no significant differences in average
age or neuropsychological tests. TBI groups did not differ in
time postinjury or on severity measures. Alcohol use measures
were significantly greater in the two alcohol groups. N200 latency
and P300 amplitude were impaired in heavy social drinkers
and in nondrinking subjects with TBI relative to controls,
but were significantly impaired in subjects with TBI who were
also heavy social drinkers.
Conclusion: The results indicate that although alcohol use
and TBI independently produce mild alterations in some aspects
of late ERP components, the ERP changes are significantly
greater when alcohol use and TBI are combined. This study
provides evidence that heavy social drinking after TBI has a
measurable impact on electrophysiologic correlates of cognition.