This study examined the neurobehavioural effects of closed head injury (CHI) in adults aged 50 years and older. Twenty two mild to moderate CHI patients who were within seven months of the injury were administered measures of language, memory, attention, and executive functioning. Compared with demographically similar normal controls, the patients exhibited significantly poorer functioning on the cognitive domains. Naming and word fluency under timed conditions, verbal and visual memory, and the ability to infer similarities were especially vulnerable. These initial findings indicate that CHI in older adults produces considerable cognitive deficits in the early stages of recovery. Future research should characterise long term outcome and the potential links between head injury and the development of progressive dementia.
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