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Study shows brain injuries in kids take longer to heal

Victims of traumatic brain injuries in Ontario might be interested in a recent small study involving TBI, which is one of the leading causes of disability in kids. One aspect that complicates many issues is the difficulty in predicting the long-term outcome. Any additional knowledge learned about this issue may also allow doctors to adjust treatment methods to more aggressive approaches when necessary. However, without accurate information that can allow proper prognosis, treatment of brain injuries will remain ambiguous.

The study involved using brain scans to determine the time it took for information to be transferred from the brain's white matter to the two halves of the brain. Included in the study were 21 children whose ages ranged from 8 to 18. They had all suffered brain injuries -- from mild to traumatic -- in either pedestrian accidents, car crashes or falls from bikes, scooters or skateboards.

Although previous studies have indicated that both adult and child victims of brain injuries had slower transfer times directly after suffering the injuries, this study continued to monitor the victims. This revealed that about half the children continued to have slower times several months later. A year after the first scans, brain scans were repeated, and they indicated that the kids with slower transfer times had increased deterioration in their white matter. They were compared with healthy children by administering memory and thinking skill tests, showing that the brain-injured children scored significantly lower than the healthy children.

While this may lead to more in-depth studies to document and understand how long victims of brain injuries will take to recover, it certainly makes it easier to determine the level of treatment required by children with TBI. Furthermore, it may help personal injury lawyers in Ontario and elsewhere to determine the damages to seek in lawsuits involving brain injuries. Having an estimation of recovery time may help with drafting more accurate claims for future losses.

Source: health24.com, "Why do some kids take longer to recover from a brain injury?", March 17, 2017

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