To characterize cognitive test performance in a sample of US Army soldiers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and were tested after returning to their home base. To determine whether if a self-reported history of deployment-related traumatic brain injury (TBI), lifetime history of TBI, and the current postconcussive symptom status affected cognitive test performance.
A convenience sample of 956 soldiers was administered the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) test battery as well as questionnaires asking about deployment-related TBI, lifetime TBI history, and current TBI-related symptoms.
Consistent with past mild TBI (MTBI) research, having a history of deployment-related MTBI up to 2 years prior to cognitive testing was not associated with poor ANAM performance after deployment. There also were no associations between poor ANAM performance and the number of lifetime TBIs, and injury severity and the number of problematic postconcussive symptoms.
A history of self-reported MTBI or current postconcussive symptoms does not increase the risk of cognitive impairment in service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.