Research Reports - Frequency and impact of recurrent traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma. 2014 Oct 21

Theadom A(1), Parmar P, Jones K, Barker-Collo S, Starkey N, McPherson K, Ameratunga S, Feigin VL

Objective: To determine the frequency, mechanism(s) and impact of recurrent
traumatic brain injury (TBI) over a one year period. Design: Population-based TBI
incidence and one-year outcomes study with embedded case control analysis.
Participants: All participants (adults and children) who experienced a recurrent
TBI (more than one) in the 12 months following an index injury and matched
controls who sustained one TBI within the same period, enrolled in a population
based TBI incidence and outcomes study. Methods: Details of all recurrent TBIs
sustained within 12 months of the initial index injury were recorded. Each
recurrent TBI case was matched to a case sustaining one TBI based on: age (±2
years), gender and index TBI severity. Cognitive ability, disability and
post-concussion symptoms were assessed one year following the index injury.
Results: 9.9% (n=72) of TBI cases experienced at least one recurrent TBI within
the year following initial index injury. Males, people aged <35 years and those
who had experienced a TBI prior to their index injury were at highest risk of
recurrent TBI. Recurrent TBI cases reported significantly increased
post-concussion symptoms at one year compared to the matched controls (n=72)
sustaining one TBI. There was no difference in overall cognitive ability and
disability between the two groups. Conclusion: People experiencing recurrent TBIs
are more likely to experience increased frequency and severity of post-concussion
symptoms. Greater public awareness of the potential effects of recurrent brain
injury is needed.

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