traumatic brain injury (TBI) is injury of the frontal lobe—a large area in the front of
the brain that is susceptible to damage from the sharp, bony ridges that
make up the facial bones. The frontal lobe of the brain is responsible
for executive functioning, which involves (among many things):
- Behavioral function
- Problem solving
- Emotional control
When these processes are impaired after a TBI (known as dysexecutive syndrome),
people may experience decrease in overall quality of life.
Because current research on youth TBI typically focuses on children and
teens, a recent study investigated the effects of TBI-related dysexecutive
syndrome on young adults. Researchers administered the Dysexecutive Questionnaire
(DEX), which assesses overall executive function, to 121 college students
with a history of TBI and to a control group of 121 healthy college students.
Participants completed tasks involving planning, impulsivity, abstract
thinking, and other executive processes assessed by the DEX. Researchers
found that the TBI group scored significantly higher on the DEX assessment,
indicating that they have higher incidence of behavioral and cognitive
deficits, as compared to their non-TBI counterparts.
Deficits in executive processing can have adverse effects for college
students with TBI, as the university lifestyle and coursework typically
demands high order behavioral and cognitive function. Clinicians should
be advised that young adults may require specialized intervention for