Study discovers long-term recovery effects in children with traumatic brain injury

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Study discovers long-term recovery effects in children with traumatic brain injury

Head trauma represents a prominent cause of disability and death in children throughout the world. The symptom of traumatic brain injury (TBI) gets worse with growing age, and more than 630,000 children and teenagers in the US are treated for TBI in emergency rooms, each year. This number is the great matter of worry for parents of these patients. Doctors are now starting to look for answers to the questions such as what will a child with TBI be like 10 years from now?

A study presented at the annual meeting of the association of academic psychiatrists in Las Vegas on 10th of February 2017, provides the answer to this question. In this study, long-term effects of the TBI, seven years after the injury were presented. The patients with mild to moderate brain injuries shown to have more attention problems, while those with severe injuries were known to have secondary Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Though, researchers also found that there were specific factors that helped patients to improve the brain functioning. These factors included were family functions, the atmosphere at home, parenting practices and socioeconomic status.

According to the study, early family response and certain skills like the speed of information processing, inhibition and reasoning were very important to improve the brain functions. Further findings explained that under right environment, children with severe TBI showed fewer injuries, while under disorganized and disturbed environment, children even with mild injuries showed persistent injuries. Nevertheless, scientists also wanted to find a genetic relation behind the recovery effect and its interaction with environmental factors. For this, they planned to collect 330 children salivary DNA samples. This study was designed to provide information regarding individual prognosis and treatment plans. Not yet this, the researchers also learned more about brain structure and its connectivity with persistent symptoms after TBI by using neuroimaging and other technologies. For example, scientists reported brain connectivity with aerobic training and this finding showed positive results.

Therefore, based on past studies, researchers at Cincinnati Children's developed an innovative web-based program that provided family-centered training in communication, problem-solving and self-regulation. This web-program showed improved parent-child interactions and reduced behavior problems among patients. Also, patients showed improvement in sustained attention and parent-reported executive function behaviors during a computerized pilot trial of attention and memory. So, the overall study suggested several avenues that significantly can improve short- and long-term recovery following TBI.


Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

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Original title of article:

Studies uncover long-term effects of traumatic brain injury


Jim Feuer

Exploratory, Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain
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