The presence of disproportionate memory impairment with relatively preserved intellectual functioning was examined in 87 survivors of moderate or severe closed head injury. Approximately one-fourth of the patients tested at 5 to 15 and/or 16 to 42 months after injury manifested defective memory on both auditory and pictorial measures despite obtaining Wechsler Verbal and Performance Intelligence Quotients within the average range. The findings indicate that disproportionately severe memory deficit persists in a subgroup of closed head injured survivors which is reminiscent in some cases of the amnesic disturbance arising from other causes. Evaluation of long term memory in relation to cognitive ability could potentially identify important distinctions for prognosis and rehabilitation in head injured patients.
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