OBJECTIVE: To investigate relations between predictors and outcomes, and especially to identify predictors influencing the time trend in recovery after mild traumatic brain injury. METHODS: We included 59 patients with mild head injury in a prospective study. They underwent comprehensive assessment with neurological and neuroradiological examinations, serum S-100B analysis, and apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotyping. Neuropsychological testing was performed before and 6 months after discharge. Linear mixed models were used to assess associations between baseline predictors and neurocognitive performance and its change. RESULTS: A Glasgow Coma Scale score of less than 15, traumatic brain injury demonstrated with computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and serum S-100B greater than 0.14 microg/L predicted impaired cognitive performance both at baseline and after 6 months; APOE genotype did not. There was significant improvement of performance after 6 months. APOE-epsilon4 genotype was the only independent factor significantly predicting less improvement. CONCLUSION: The presence of the APOE-epsilon4 allele predicts less recovery of cognitive function after mild head injury.