Brain Injury Resources & Links

Representing children who have sustained a traumatic brain injury can be challenging. Because the brain does not fully mature until around the age of 25, it is difficult to predict the child’s chances of full recovery. The antiquated view was that due to brain elasticity, children who sustain mild traumatic brain injuries will fully recover. According to evidence in a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, that is not the case.

Continue Reading Children With Concussions Are Four Times More Likely to Sustain a New Concussion

This month’s issue of Brain Injury, the official journal of the International Brain Injury Association, was devoted to pediatric traumatic brain injury. Multiple research studies were conducted and included in the journal. Below are summaries of some of these studies:

A study out of Sydney, Australia compared children who sustained traumatic brain injury to children who sustained orthopedic injuries. Specifically, researchers examined objective sleep outcomes in 23 children ages 5-15 who sustained moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. This group was compared to 13 children who sustained an orthopedic injury. The primary measurements were objective sleep measures using actigraphy watch, and secondarily a subjective sleep measure and fatigue questionnaires. The findings showed “evidence of objective and subjective sleep disturbance in children with moderate to severe TBI, but these two types of sleep measures were not related. It is possible the distinct mechanisms underpin objective and subjective sleep disturbance, which may require different interventions.”

Continue Reading May’s International Brain Injury Association Journal Studies

A new study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness entitled “Subtle Long-Term Cognitive Effects of a Single Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and the Impact of a Three-Month Aerobic Exercise Intervention” debunks the myth that a single, uncomplicated mTBI won’t have any permanent residuals. The researchers sought to determine the long-term effects of a single mTBI on cognition in patients aged 55-70 years old. In addition, they wanted to see the impact the aerobic exercise programs would have on these patients’ recovery.

Continue Reading Long-Term Residuals Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

A new study out of the University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Healthcare System investigated the increased risk of sleep disorders following traumatic brain injury.

In this study, the researchers performed a cohort study of all patients diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury in the Veterans Health Administration system from 2001 to 2015. These patients were aged-matched with veterans who had not sustained a traumatic brain injury. Any veteran who had a prevalent sleep disorder at the baseline was excluded from the study. The disorders were defined as any inpatient or outpatient diagnosis of sleep apnea, hypersomnia, insomnia, or sleep-related mood disorders. The researcher’s analysis was restricted to those for at least one year.

Continue Reading Sleep Disorders and Traumatic Brain Injury

For a long time, clinicians believed children who sustained a mild traumatic brain injury went on to an uneventful recovery. More recent research has demonstrated the fallacy of this outdated belief. A new study published in Brain Injury explored the behavioral and emotional difficulties following pediatric mild traumatic brain injury.

Continue Reading Pediatric Mild-Traumatic Brain Injury and Long Term Consequences

Did you know at least 2.8 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, and at least 5.3 million Americans live with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related disability? Every year when March comes around we observe Brain Injury Awareness Month. The Brain Injury Association of America’s (BIAA) theme for the 2021-2023 campaign is More Than My Brain Injury. TBI victims believe their injury defines them and their lives. This campaign allows for these individuals to live beyond their disability, while also giving them the chance to tell their stories. At Stark & Stark we encourage everyone to join this campaign to help spread awareness and educate others about what it is like to live with a traumatic brain injury.

Continue Reading Brain Injury Awareness Month is Here

Traumatic brain injuries are considered risk factors for other neurologic diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. A recently published, British Journal of Psychiatry article discusses “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Risk Factor for Dementia.” The researchers from the University College of London, UK, Division of Psychiatry, conducted a meta-analysis searching nine electronic data bases up to October 25, 2019 for longitudinal studies assessing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the risk of dementia. The researchers’ selection criteria was for adults 18 and older with a similar comparison group of adults without any post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the researchers, “we included studies were a diagnosis of PTSD was based upon: (a) clinical diagnostic criteria (i.e. ICD-9 or ICD-10, DSM-III, DSM-IV or DSM-V or comparable), or (b) a validated self-report scale.” Studies that did not diagnose dementia on the basis of clinical criteria (e.g. NINCDS-ADRA) were excluded.

Continue Reading Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a Risk Factor for Dementia

In 2001, Teasdale and Engberg published an article in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, entitled Suicide after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Population Study. The researchers reviewed data from Danish hospital admissions covering the years 1979-93 and found that patients who had sustained a TBI had an increased risk of suicide. The authors

The theory of neuroplasticity holds that the brain will change and adapt to different conditions including to childhood injuries. This theory is often challenged and sometimes referred to as a “myth.” However, a new study by Seena Fazel and colleagues from the Department of Psychiatry at University of Oxford in the United Kingdom delivered data that supports the claims of neuroplasticity theorists. Fazel’s conclusions reveal that the later a mild TBI is sustained, the worse the health and social outcome is for the patient. The study also found a causal effect between childhood Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and the risk of brain impairment and social dysfunction at later stages in life.

Continue Reading New Study Debunks Claim that Neuroplasticity is a Myth—the Later the Onset of Mild TBI, the Worse the Outcome