The February issue of the journal Pediatrics is set to publish the results of two studies on the effect of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) on children. Specifically, the Australian studies reveal that while children are very resilient and able to fully recover from mild TBIs, the recovery time for children who suffer severe TBIs is much longer, if they fully recover at all, with possible lasting effects.
One of the studies, as reported by U.S. News, examined 40 children aged two to seven several times after suffering TBIs (12 months, 30 months and ten years post-TBI accident) and compared the results of the exams to children who had not suffered TBIs. The study found what many would expect, that the children that suffered the worst TBIs suffered the most cognitively.
However, the study found that children continued to improve and recover, even years after the accident. According to Vicki Anderson, this study’s lead author and a professor at the Murdoch Institute, children may benefit from therapy and intervention years after suffering an injury.
The other study examined 53 children between the ages of 4 and 6 who suffered TBIs before age 3 and compared them to 27 children of a similar age who had not suffered TBIs. The study found that children who suffered mild TBIs were able to recover from the injuries to have similar IQ test results as the non-injured children. However, the children who suffered moderate-to-severe TBIs had lower IQ results.
Additionally, this study found that children who suffered mild-to-moderate TBIs were more likely to exhibit behavioral issues.
Both studies found that children who suffer TBIs seem to be resilient and the ability to recover, even if not fully, from TBIs. Both studies also found that children who come from home environments that are stable and caring recovered from TBIs better than other children.
Source: “Severe Brain Injury When Young May Have Long-Term Effects,” U.S. News & World Report, 1/23/12