Accession Number:

ADA467582

Title:

Prospective Assessment of Neurocognition in Future Gulf-deployed and Gulf-nondeployed Military Personnel: A Pilot Study

Descriptive Note:

Annual rept. 1 Feb 2006-31 Jan 2007

Corporate Author:

LOUISIANA VETERANS RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CORPORATION NEW ORLEANS LA

Report Date:

2007-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

16.0

Abstract:

Unexplained health symptoms appear to be ubiquitous to modern war. However, questions remain regarding linkages between military operational deployment and the development of physical or mental health symptoms. An area of particular vulnerability may be neuropsychological functioning. Neuropsychological functioning encompasses cognitive e.g., memory, attentional, reasoning, perceptual-sensory-motor e.g., motor speed, and emotional e.g., mood behaviors thought to reflect neural integrity. Unresolved issues include whether neuropsychological problems can be linked to specific environmental exposures, stress exposures, or other deployment-related experiences and the interaction of deployment with potential risk and resilience factors on neuropsychological functioning. The work encompassed in this report is now referred to as the Neurocognition Deployment Health Study NDHS. The primary purpose of this study is to examine the neuropsychological outcomes associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF deployment. Secondary objectives include the identification of both deployment-related and non-deployment-related risk and resiliency factors for adverse neuropsychological outcomes. The study used a prospective cohort design in which deploying Army soldiers were assessed once prior to deployment and twice after deployment. A comparison group of soldiers was assessed before and after a period of garrison duty. Methods included the administration of performance-based neuropsychological measures and self-report surveys. Time 1 and Time 2 data were collected on all but one small non-deployed unit. Time 3 data have been collected on 3 brigade-level active duty units. The findings show that OIF deployment is associated with disadvantaged memory and attentional performance and increased emotional distress, but also with advantaged reaction time efficiency. Unit cohesion buffers the adverse effects of early life events on PTSD prior to deployment.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE