Brain Size in Children and Teens, May be Linked to Traumatic Brain Injury
Mar 2, 2023
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 2, 2023 – Growing brains are difficult to measure for the presence of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, researchers have gathered detailed measurements of children’s brains developing normally and compared them to children/teens who sustain a moderate to severe brain injury.
What the researchers discovered is that injuries can result in some children’s brain volumes being smaller than expected. This in turn is linked to behavioral and learning problems. This latest study was published in the journal Brain. Currently, there is no way to predict who would experience problems. However, it has been established through the course of studies and research projects that some children/teens who sustain a TBI can experience emotional and/or learning issues. TBIs can affect everyone differently.
The researchers used MRI scans to measure the brains of more than 1,200 healthy young subjects from age 8 to 22. This established a baseline for normal development and growth in different areas of the brain. These scans were then compared to scans from a group of 39 teens between 12 and 16 years, who had sustained a moderate to severe TBI. There was also a cognitive difficulty test involved.
The results indicated that 11 teens had reduced volume in at least one area of white matter in their brains, and seven had reduced volume in at least one area of grey matter (thinking happens here and processes information) in their brains.
The results indicated that teens with smaller brain volumes had a slower mental processing speed, higher depression levels, learning issues, and anger/apathy when compared to the group that did not experience a TBI.
The main concern is that being unable to determine who may or may not struggle with TBI means those dealing with it do not always get the early support they need. The issue may go unrecognized and be attributed to other factors rather than a TBI.
“This is an interesting study and one can correlate these findings with TBI acquired by playing childhood sports, such as football, hockey, and soccer,” added traumatic brain injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke. “Any development in this area is a boon for those who suffer a TBI.”
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