Studies uncover long-term effects of traumatic brain injury
Doctors are beginning to get answers to the question that every parent whose child has had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) wants to know: What will my child be like 10 years from now? In a study to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Physiatrists in Las Vegas, researchers from Cincinnati Children's presented research on long-term effects of TBI - an average of seven years after injury. Patients with mild to moderate brain injuries are two times more likely to have developed attention problems, and those with severe injuries are five times more likely to develop secondary ADHD.
Family environment mattersThese researchers are also finding that the family environment influences the development of these attention problems. Parenting and the home environment exert a powerful influence on recovery.
Children with severe TBI in optimal environments may show few effects of their injuries while children with milder injuries from disadvantaged or chaotic homes often demonstrate persistent problems."Early family response may be particularly important for long-term outcomes suggesting that working to promote effective parenting may be an important early intervention. Certain skills that can affect social functioning, such as speed of information processing, inhibition, and reasoning, show greater long-term effects. Many children do very well long-term after brain injury and most do not have across the board deficits.