An early, formalized cognitive evaluation of 'minimally responsive' patients could be important in the planning of their care and rehabilitation as well as in providing a realistic prognosis and studying the modality of the cognitive recovery. A short, bedside, neuropsychologically-oriented test-battery, the Preliminary Neuropsychological Battery, a psychometric tool which enables the cognitive evaluation of these patients and of patients unable to give verbal or complex motor answers, has been devised. The BNP was administered to a sample of 40 head-injured patients and to a sample of 34 healthy subjects. The aim was (i) to evaluate its usefulness, and (ii) to study its correlation with cortical functions as assessed by a more extensive battery. The findings suggest that the BNP is useful for assessing the general cognitive level of head-injured post-comatose patients. It was able to detect patients deserving a wider, analytic, neuropsychological assessment. Attentional defects emerged as an important variable determining the BNP score.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology