Special Issue Article
Neuropsychological Differential Diagnosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: Traumatic Brain Injury
Volume 31, Issue 6, pages 686–701, November/December 2013
How to Cite
Larrabee, G. J. and Rohling, M. L. (2013), Neuropsychological Differential Diagnosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Behav. Sci. Law, 31: 686–701. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2087
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 26 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 6 MAY 2013
The diagnosis and evaluation of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is reviewed from the perspective of meta-analyses of neuropsychological outcome, showing full recovery from a single, uncomplicated mTBI by 90 days post-trauma. Persons with history of complicated mTBI characterized by day-of-injury computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities, and those who have suffered prior mTBIs may or may not show evidence of complete recovery similar to that experienced by persons suffering a single, uncomplicated mTBI. Persistent post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is considered as a somatoform presentation, influenced by the non-specificity of PCS symptoms which commonly occur in non-TBI samples and co-vary as a function of general life stress, and psychological factors including symptom expectation, depression and anxiety. A model is presented for forensic evaluation of the individual mTBI case, which involves open-ended interview, followed by structured interview, record review, and detailed neuropsychological testing. Differential diagnosis includes consideration of other neurologic and psychiatric disorders, symptom expectation, diagnosis threat, developmental disorders, and malingering. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.