11 Jun. 2018

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children Linked to ADHD Years Later

Posted By Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez

Traumatic brain injuries send over one million children, adolescents and young adults to the emergency room each year. A recent study suggests traumatic brain injuries in children may be linked to an increased risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) years later.

In a study reported in JAMA Pediatrics, a research team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center examined data on 187 children, including 81 who were hospitalized overnight for a traumatic brain injury at some point from age 3 to 7, and 106 who were hospitalized with other injuries. None of the kids had ADHD at the start.

Altogether, over the next seven years, 48 children, or 26 percent, developed symptoms of ADHD. Children with traumatic brain injuries were more than three times as likely to develop ADHD as kids with other kinds of injuries.

“Children with a history of traumatic brain injuries—even those with less severe injuries—have an increased risk for the development of new-onset attention problems, potentially many years after injury,” said lead study author Megan Narad, MD. “While previous studies suggest kids with a history of traumatic brain injuries are at risk of developing attention problems, they only followed children two to three years after injury. Our study is unique in that we followed children seven to 10 years after their injury and demonstrated that some kids develop attention problems many years after injury.”

After traumatic brain injury, children often experience impairment when challenged by tasks of increasing complexity and awareness. Although the risk factors are not well understood, children with a history of traumatic brain injury have a 20% chance of developing secondary ADHD.

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Up to about one in five kids with a TBI develops ADHD, roughly twice the diagnosis rate among typically developing school age children. Among kids who developed symptoms meeting the definition of ADHD during the study, 13 had severe brain injuries, six had moderate brain injuries, 13 had complicated mild brain injuries, and 16 had been hospitalized for injuries to other parts of the body. With severe brain injuries, 62 percent of kids who developed ADHD did so within the first year after injury. At least half of the children with less severe brain injuries or injuries to other parts of the body who developed ADHD did so more than a year afterwards.

Was Your Child Injured?

Children who develop secondary ADHD have a learning disability and are more likely to be under-achievers in school and require special education. They may also under perform as adults compared to their full potential, had the injury not occurred.

The law office of Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez is a personal injury law firm committed to the health and safety of our youths. If you have a child who suffered a traumatic brain injury, regardless of severity, speak to one of our attorneys today to explore your legal options to ensure your child’s future.You can schedule a free appointment now to discuss your case and there are no fees or costs unless we win a settlement for you.

For a complimentary consultation with one of our Personal Injury Attorneys in Tampa, call 813-877-5548.

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