Severe traumatic brain injury affects development in young children
January 23rd, 2012
12:03 AM ET

Severe traumatic brain injury affects development in young children

Children who have severe traumatic brain injuries early in life may have impaired cognitive development and long-term intellectual ability as they get older, according to two small studies published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. 

The first study compared the social, intellectual, and behavioral functions of 53 children who had experienced a traumatic brain injury before the age of three, most of which were the result of falls, with 27 children of the same age who had never sustained a TBI. 

The authors write that while a severe TBI was associated with lowered intellectual function, the socioeconomic status of the child's family may be a more powerful predictor of the child's intellectual development.  They cannot fully explain why, but they suggest lower socioeconomic status, high parental stress and low parental involvement has an effect on a child's recovery. 

The study also found that mild, less traumatic injuries, similar to those commonly sustained from short falls, had no negative effect on any of the child's functions.

The second prospective study, which was conducted at the same children's hospital in Australia, looked at 40 children who had sustained a TBI at some point between the ages of two and seven.

More of the injuries were sustained from motor vehicle or pedestrian accidents than were in the first study and therefore the children had more severe TBIs in this study. The researchers examined the children immediately after the injury, and then again 12 months, 30 months, and ten years later. 

Children in this study who suffered a mild traumatic injury recovered well and didn't face a dramatic deficit in their intellectual abilities, similar to what was seen in the first study. Researchers also found children with severe TBI had problems with their intellectual, behavioral, and social development. More specifically, children with severe traumatic brain injuries seemed to lag behind their peers in intellectual development for upwards of three years after their injury.

"Some of the children with severe TBI did well" after their injury, says Dr. Harvey S. Levin, with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine, who wrote accompanying commentary and was not involved in the two studies. 

"There is intellectual growth with age so it's not like these children don't continue to show intellectual development, but there is a lag."

Levin says that the two studies challenge long-held beliefs within the medical community that young children are not as vulnerable to the negative effects of traumatic brain injury. Rather, factors like the severity of the TBI and the amount of trauma associated with the injury hold more weight in determine how much of a deficit a child may experience.

Children are at high risk for traumatic brain injury particularly because of their propensity to fall. Babies and toddlers are still developing their sense of balance, which is why they often take a tumble. Most falls don't cause anything nearly as serious as a traumatic brain injury, but being around stairs or furniture with hard edges, or walking up an incline, could increase the chances of it happening.

soundoff (669 Responses)
  1. Maserati Ghibli Vs Quattroporte

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I found this during my search for something concerning this.


    May 17, 2021 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Maserati Recall

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 17, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Maserati Chicagoland

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks!


    May 17, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. couch repair near me


    May 18, 2021 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. camera shop california

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It's always exciting to read content from other writers and practice a little something from other websites.


    May 18, 2021 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. temecula tv repair


    May 18, 2021 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv repair services near me


    May 18, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. trailer repairs near me

    After looking at a few of the articles on your web page, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site too and tell me how you feel.


    May 18, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. dating group

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    May 18, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tony Maserati


    May 18, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Local Marketing Firms

    Great site you have got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    May 18, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Eye Care Specialist Near Me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!


    May 19, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. high energy pills

    Very good write-up. I certainly love this website. Stick with it!


    May 19, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Maui Jim Prescription Sunglasses Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. truck repair close to me

    I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new things you post…


    May 19, 2021 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. toy restoration near me


    May 19, 2021 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Frame Orange County

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 19, 2021 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. SEO Marketing Consultants


    May 19, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Countertops Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv mechanics near me


    May 19, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Local Marketing Service

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 20, 2021 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Digital Marketing Agency

    I was able to find good advice from your blog posts.


    May 20, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. SEO Marketing Company Near Me

    Hi! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your site for more soon.


    May 20, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Google Marketing Business


    May 20, 2021 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Social Media Marketing Specialist


    May 20, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Video Marketing Service

    Excellent post. I certainly love this website. Keep writing!


    May 20, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Mechanics California


    May 20, 2021 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. rv replacement parts near me


    May 20, 2021 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Fabrication Riverside


    May 20, 2021 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. orange near me

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always useful to read articles from other authors and use a little something from other sites.


    May 20, 2021 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Restoration California


    May 20, 2021 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Driver Seats Los Angeles

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I really like all the points you made.


    May 21, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Dodge Sprinter Repair Service


    May 21, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Furniture Orange County


    May 21, 2021 at 05:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mercedes Winnebago Sprinter Repair

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this during my search for something regarding this.


    May 21, 2021 at 06:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rv repair centers near me


    May 21, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. telugu movies in california


    May 21, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. box truck repair panels

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always useful to read content from other writers and use something from other sites.


    May 21, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. camper service near me


    May 21, 2021 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Digital Marketing Company Near Me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back once again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    May 21, 2021 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Windows Orange County

    Hi there! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you've got right here on this post. I'll be coming back to your website for more soon.


    May 21, 2021 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Blinds Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Local Marketing Agency

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I'll send this post to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 21, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Driver Seats Riverside


    May 21, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Countertops California

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    May 22, 2021 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. socal upholstery

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but typically folks don't discuss such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!


    May 22, 2021 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. camper repairs near me


    May 22, 2021 at 01:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Shades Riverside

    Hi there, I do believe your web site might be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, fantastic website!


    May 22, 2021 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. upholstery repair shop near me

    bookmarked!!, I love your web site!


    May 22, 2021 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. rv electrical repair near me


    May 22, 2021 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to RV Repair Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.