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Correlation between childhood TBI and adult impairment?

We regularly represent clients of all ages and backgrounds who have sustained brain injuries, from relatively minor concussions to devastating traumatic harm, because of the negligence, recklessness or aggression of others. In these posts, we will share information about new research into traumatic brain injuries, often called TBIs, and the short- and long-term problems they can cause.

New Swedish study

In late August, researchers published the results of their study of adult medical and social problems in patients who had sustained brain injury in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood (up to age 25) as compared to their uninjured siblings. The authors said that their findings "indicate potentially causal effects between TBI exposure in childhood and later impairments across a range of health and social outcomes ..."

The six adult outcomes assessed were:

  • Premature death (before age 41)
  • Psychiatric hospitalization
  • Psychiatric outpatient visits
  • Disability pension
  • Welfare receipt
  • Low educational achievement

The researchers found that early TBI was consistently linked to greater risks of all of these adult problems. They also said that the adult impact was worse with more severe childhood injuries, older age when the injuries happened and in patients who had multiple brain injuries.

Toronto doctors react

Two members of the University of Toronto's Department of Medicine gave their perspective on the Swedish study, pointing out potential weaknesses and limitations in the research. The Toronto experts do credit the Swedish research with sharpening our focus on prevention of concussions and other brain injuries in young people. The Toronto authors also emphasize the importance of careful and comprehensive care and treatment of such patients to help prevent long-term negative consequences.

What this means for our clients

It is crucial that anyone with a brain injury of any severity receive immediate and ongoing medical assessment, treatment and appropriate therapy. Clients come to us with concussions and TBIs caused by a variety of events:

  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Slips and falls
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Sports accidents
  • Fights
  • And others

We bring lawsuits against people and companies who may be liable for our clients' brain injuries. To fight for adequate money damages, we must obtain comprehensive medical assessment of potential future symptoms and limitations, sometimes including long-term or even permanent disability. TBIs may require intensive medical treatment, medical equipment, home adaptations, therapies (occupational, physical, speech), personal care services and more.

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