Tonic and phasic alertness training: a novel treatment for executive control dysfunction following mild traumatic brain injury.

Citation:
Van Vleet, TM, Chen A, Vernon A, Novakovic-Agopian T, D'Esposito MT.  2014.  Tonic and phasic alertness training: a novel treatment for executive control dysfunction following mild traumatic brain injury., 2014 Jul 1. Neurocase. :1-10.

Abstract:

Many individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffer difficulty regulating fundamental aspects of attention (focus, sustained attention) and may also exhibit hypo- or hyper-states of alertness. Deficits in the state of attention may underlie or exacerbate higher order executive dysfunction. Recent studies indicate that computerized cognitive training targeting attentional control and alertness can ameliorate attention deficits evident in patients with TBI or acquired brain injury. The current study examined whether improvements in attentional state following training can also influence performance on higher-order executive function and mood in individuals with mild TBI (mTBI). The current study examined five patients with executive control deficits as a result of mTBI, with or without persistent anxiety. Three patients engaged in ~5 hours of an executive control training task targeting inhibitory control and sustained attention; two additional patients were re-tested following the same period of time. Performance on standard neuropsychological measures of attention, executive function, and mood were evaluated pre- and post-training. The results indicate that tonic and phasic alertness training may improve higher-order executive function and mood regulation in individuals with TBI.