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Episode 09 | Electrical Injuries: Cognitive and Emotional Sequelae - with Dr. Neil Pliskin


Electrical injuries often result in diffuse cognitive symptoms and mood changes. In this episode, we discuss the ins and outs of this unique injury with Neil Pliskin, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, former president of APA Div. 40, who has done a significant amount of clinical work and research with this population.

apa-logo_white_screenThe International Neuropsychological Society is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Neuropsychological Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Neil Pliskin
Instructor Credentials

Dr. Neil Pliskin is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Neurology in the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He serves as Director of Neuropsychology services at UI Health, and has had 30 years of experience working as a clinical neuropsychologist and directing clinical neuropsychology training programs. Neil is past president of the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association and has served as APA advisor to the AMA/CPT Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee since 2009.

Topics Covered
  • The mechanism of injury to the body and the brain following exposure to an electrical current
  • Sociodemographic characteristics of people who typically sustain electrical injuries
  • Heterogeneity in injury characteristics and clinical implications of this variability
  • The impact of thermal injuries, as well as orthopedic injuries secondary to falls (e.g., off of a ladder)
  • Similarities and differences between the neuropsychological profile of electrical injuries and traumatic brain injuries
  • The high prevalence of emotional symptoms after electrical injuries - potential causes and clinical implications
  • The potential for PTSD after an electrical injury
  • The speculative connection between electricity-induced emotion dysregulation and the therapeutic effects of electroconvulsive therapy
  • Potential explanations for the surprising finding of worsening symptoms from the acute to the post-acute stage following an electrical injury
  • The role of litigation in neuropsychological evaluations of patients with electrical injuries
Educational Objectives
  • Explain the sociodemographic groups and occupations that are most susceptible to electrical injuries.
  • List at least three common psychiatric and medical issues associated with electrical injury.
  • Describe the purported mechanisms of injury following exposure to electrical current.
  • Explain the role of litigation in neuropsychological evaluations of patients with electrical injuries.
Target Audience
  • Introductory
  • Date Available: 2018-12-01
  • You may obtain CE for this podcast at any time.
Offered for CE
  • Yes
  • Members $20
  • Non-Members $25
Refund Policy
  • This podcast is not eligible for refunds
CE Credits
  • 1.0 Credit(s)
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • Aase, D. M., Fink, J. W., Lee, R. C., Kelley, K. M., & Pliskin, N. H. (2014). Mood and cognition after electrical injury: A follow-up study. Archives of clinical neuropsychology, 29(2), 125-130.
  • Pliskin, N. H., Capelli-Schellpfeffer, M., Law, R. T., Malina, A. C., Kelley, K. M., & Lee, R. C. (1998). Neuropsychological symptom presentation after electrical injury. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 44(4), 709-715.
  • Pliskin, N. H., Fink, J., Malina, A., Moran, S., Kelley, K. M., Capelli‐Schellpfeffer, M., & Lee, R. (1999). The neuropsychological effects of electrical injury: new insights. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 888(1), 140-149.
  • Pliskin, N. H., Meyer, G. J., Dolske, M. C., Heilbronner, R. L., Kelley, K. M., & Lee, R. C. (1994). Neuropsychiatric aspects of electrical injury: a review of neuropsychological research. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 720(1), 219-223.
  • Ramati, A., Pliskin, N. H., Keedy, S., Erwin, R. J., Fink, J. W., Bodnar, E. N., … & Sweeney, J. A. (2009). Alteration in functional brain systems after electrical injury. Journal of neurotrauma, 26(10), 1815-1822.
  • Silva, L. M. A., Cooper, M. A., Blumenthal, R., & Pliskin, N. (2016). A follow-up study of a large group of children struck by lightning. South African Medical Journal, 106(9), 929-932.
  • Wesner, M. L., & Hickie, J. (2013). Long-term sequelae of electrical injury. Canadian family physician, 59(9), 935-939.
  • Wicklund, A. H., Ammar, A., Weitlauf, J. C., Heilbronner, R. L., Fink, J., Lee, R. C., … & Pliskin, N. H. (2008). MMPI-2 patterns in electrical injury: A controlled investigation. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 22(1), 98-111.