Event-Related Brain Potentials Depict Cognitive Disturbances in Children with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

  •  Andrés González-Garrido    
  •  José González-González    
  •  Fabiola Gómez-Velázquez    
  •  Teresita Villaseñor    
  •  Angélica Flores-Barrios    
  •  Leonardo Aguirre-Portillo    


Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is a common cause of short-term cognitive disturbances in children that rarely
are related to objective neurophysiological markers. With the aim of correlating cognitive processing with
event-related brain potential variation, visual Continuous Performance Tests (CPT) were administered to 15
children with MTBI and a matched control group. All the patients had suffered post-traumatic loss of consciousness
lasting less than 15 minutes, and they were evaluated within 5-to-15 days post-trauma. A few additional
neuropsychological tests were also administered to both groups. Behavioral results showed that the injured children
achieved poorer scores for phonological and verbal fluency tasks and no interference effect in a computerized
version of the Stroop test. They had fewer correct responses on CPT-AX, where a warning signal preceded targets.
The N90, P240 and P390 ERP components varied significantly between groups while performing CPT-AX. Present
findings could be interpreted as reflecting disturbances that impede injured children from using contextual
information efficiently. The higher amplitude of the slow late positivity observed in the control group might reflect
updating memory preparatory processes that could increase subsequent cognitive operational competence. The ERP
assessment could be helpful to demonstrate early neurophysiological disturbances subsequent to a MTBI in

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