Influence of age-related factors on long-term outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children: A review of recent literature and some preliminary findings

Restor Neurol Neurosci. 1999 Jan 1;14(2):135-41.


Cerebral plasticity of the immature brain is often inferred to lead to less serious consequences of early traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the pediatric age group. This notion is seriously challenged by recent research findings. Data from prospective studies point to some children's dif-ficulties in ongoing skill-acquisition and the possibility of late-emerging deficits. Accordingly, preliminary group data of an own ongoing study support the notion of an increased risk for pervasive neuropsychological impairment in subjects with severe TBI and early age at trauma. The pattern of neuropsychological deficits may depend on the developmental level at the time of injury, although effects of hemispheric site of lesion were also found to persist in individual cases. Theoretical considerations and empirical findings stress the importance of a longitudinal developmental perspective for the evaluation of long-term outcome after pediatric TBI. ("Verbund Neurotrauma Kiel / Project 4: Evaluation of neurological rehabilitation and course of cognitive development in children and adoles-cents with secondarily acquired brain damage", funded through the Research Program "Gesundheit 2000" of the German government, FKZ 01 KO 9512.).