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Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury Linger 10 Years Later

1/23/2012

The study, "Predictors of Cognitive Function and Recovery 10 Years After Traumatic Brain Injury in Young Children," in the February 2012 Pediatrics (published online Jan. 23) examined 56 children 10 years after experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Researchers studied the intellectual, adaptive and executive abilities, and the social/behavioral skills of children in Melbourne, Australia, who experienced TBI between the ages of 2 and 7 years. Children who had a severe TBI recorded the lowest IQ scores, at 18 to 26 points below the control group, suggesting that a serious TBI in early childhood results in persisting intellectual deficits. Recovery seemed to plateau in the 5- to 10-year range, regardless of injury severity. The authors state this is important because it counters the theory that children "grow into deficits" and suggests that even many years post-TBI, intervention may be necessary and helpful. 

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Editor's note: The February 2012 issue of Pediatrics also includes the articles, "Intellectual, Behavioral, and Social Outcomes of Accidental Traumatic Brain Injury in Early Childhood," and "Intellectual, Behavioral, and Social Outcomes of Accidental Traumatic Brain Injury Sustained Before 3 Years." Both of these studies will be published online Jan. 23.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.