Increased Cognitive Decline One Year After Mild TBI in Children

Reliable increases in cognitive symptoms persist to 12 months; symptoms linked to lower health-related QoL

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) continue to experience postconcussive symptoms that are associated with functional impairment, according to research published online March 5 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

To determine the long-term changes in, and functional consequences of, postconcussive symptoms in children with mild TBI, Keith Owen Yeates, Ph.D., of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 186 children with mild TBI and 99 with orthopedic injuries (OI), aged 8 to 15 years.

Compared with children with OI, the researchers found that those with mild TBI were more likely to show reliable increases in cognitive and somatic symptoms in the 12 months following the injury. For somatic symptoms, the likelihood of reliable increases became less common with time, but for cognitive symptoms, they persisted to 12 months post-injury. Increased symptoms were much more common in those who experienced a mild TBI with loss of consciousness or abnormal neuroimaging results. Furthermore, these cognitive and somatic symptom increases correlated with reduced health-related quality of life and a greater likelihood of educational intervention.

"Children with mild TBI were more likely to exhibit reliable increases in both cognitive and somatic symptoms than children with OI. These differences became less common over time for somatic symptoms but persisted to 12 months post-injury for cognitive symptoms," the authors write.

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