Brain injuries have lasting implications for children
Brain injuries can have longer-lasting effects on children than experts previously thought.
Young children have high neuroplasticity; in other words, their brains can reroute signals more quickly than older children and adults. This plasticity led many doctors to assume that children with brain injuries would "grow into their deficits." Rather than growing into their deficits though, children with brain injuries in this study still had cognitive deficiencies five years and ten years after their initial injury. This was only true for children with severe traumatic brain injuries, not mild TBIs or concussions.
In the study, 40 children with severe brain injuries had poorer intellectual, adaptive, behavioral, and social skills than 16 healthy children. While the TBI children did improve, their development dragged behind their peers. Researchers suggested that children with severe brain injuries may benefit from prolonged intervention to improve their intellectual and cognitive capabilities.
Anderson, Vicki, Celia Godfrey, Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Cathy Catroopa. Predictors of Cognitive Function and Recovery 10 Years After Traumatic Brain Injury in Young Children. Pediatrics. February 2012: 12(1); doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-0311.
Collins, Lois. "Brain Injury might have larger effect on children than experts thought."Desert News. January 23, 2012. Accessed February 6, 2012. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700218284/Brain-injury-might-have-larger-effect-on-child-than-experts-thought.html.