Researchers are using principal components analysis (PCA) to reduce the risk of drawing erroneous conclusions during the study of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Past studies rely on many variables related to the injury that complicate the understanding of observed outcome measures.
By identifying and then correlating the outcome measures observed in two separate and concurrent studies, researchers in this study were able to compare the ability of mTBI and orthopedic injury patients to perform activities testing cognitive function. PCA resulted in a symptom component score that revealed that the mTBI patients suffered more severe symptoms than the orthopedic injury patients in a number of measures including cognitive processing speed, verbal memory, and visual memory.
The results suggest analysis of data in concurrent studies of mTBI can be simplified by using the outcome measures discussed in this study.
Levin H S, Li, X, et al. Neuropsychological Outcome of mTBI: A Principal Component Analysis Approach. Journal of Neurotrauma. (April 2013).