Depression in children and adolescents in the first 6 months after traumatic brain injury

Int J Dev Neurosci. 2012 May;30(3):239-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2011.12.005. Epub 2011 Dec 17.


The objective was to assess the nature, rate, predictive factors, and neuroimaging correlates of novel (new-onset) depressive disorders, both definite and subclinical, after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Children with TBI from consecutive admissions were enrolled and studied with psychiatric interviews soon after injury (baseline), and again 6 months post-injury. Novel definite/subclinical depressive disorders at 6-month follow up occurred in 11% (n=15) of the children and subsets of children with non-anxious depression (n=9) and anxious depression (n=6) were identified. Novel definite/subclinical depressive disorder was significantly associated with older age at the time of injury, family history of anxiety disorder, left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) lesions, and right frontal white matter lesions. Non-anxious depressions were associated with older age at injury, left IFG and left temporal pole lesions. Anxious depressions were associated with family history of anxiety disorder, Personality Change due to TBI, right frontal white matter lesions, and left parietal lesions. These findings, which are similar to those reported after adult TBI, identify both similarities and differences in non-anxious and anxious depression following childhood TBI with respect to lesion laterality, genetic factors (in the form of family psychiatric history of anxiety disorder), age at injury, and more generalized affective dysregulation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology