Research Reports - Cognitive recovery and development after traumatic brain injury in childhood: a person-oriented, longitudinal study

J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jan 15;30(2):76-83

Jonsson CA, Catroppa C, Godfrey C, Smedler AC, Anderson V

Abstract Influence of childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) on cognitive
recovery and subsequent development is poorly understood. In this longitudinal
study we used cluster analysis to explore acute stage individual profiles of
injury age and cognition in 118 children with traumatic brain injury. Repeated
measures of cognitive function were conducted at 30 months, indicating recovery,
and 10 years post-injury, indicating development. Nine clusters were identified.
Recovery was evident in three clusters, two of them with low functioning
profiles. Developmental gains occurred for three clusters and an acute profile of
higher freedom from distractibility (FFD) and lower processing speed (PS) was
related to positive differences. One cluster, average low functioning and
especially low verbal comprehension, demonstrated a slower development than
peers. This suggests that developmental change after TBI in childhood takes place
on a continuum, with both chance of long-term catching up, and risk of poor
development. An acute profile of higher FFD and lower PS seemed to reflect injury
consequences and were followed by developmental gains. These results challenge
previous findings, and warrant further investigation.
 

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