To characterize neuropsychiatric symptoms in a large group of individuals with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to correlate these symptoms with demographic, clinical, and functional features.
The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), a frequently used scale to assess behavioral, emotional, and motivational disorders in persons with neurological diseases, was administered to a sample of 120 persons with severe TBI. Controls were 77 healthy subjects.
A wide range of neuropsychiatric symptoms was found in the population with severe TBI: apathy (42%), irritability (37%), dysphoria/depressed mood (29%), disinhibition (28%), eating disturbances (27%), and agitation (24%). A clear relationship was also found with other demographic and clinical variables.
Neuropsychiatric disorders constitute an important part of the comorbidity in populations with severe TBI. Our study emphasizes the importance of integrating an overall assessment of cognitive disturbances with a specific neuropsychiatric evaluation to improve clinical understanding and treatment of persons with TBI.
IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome (Drs Ciurli, Formisano, and Bivona); Department of Neuroscience/Rehabilitation, Hospital and University of Ferrara, Ferrara (Dr Cantagallo); and Department of Psychology, University of Bari, Bari (Dr Angelelli), Italy.
Corresponding Author: Paola Ciurli, PsyD, IRCCS Santa Lucia Hospital, via. Ardeatina 306, Rome, Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org).