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Brain and Mental Performance

Mild Head Injuries May Have Long-Lasting Effects

17 years, 1 month ago

2166  0
Posted on Sep 26, 2002, 5 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Mild head injuries in children deemed harmless by doctors could have long-lasting consequences, according to researchers from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Dr A McKinlay and colleagues found that children hospitalised for a mild head injury before they were 10 were more likely to be hyperactive, and have other behavioural problems, for example, being aggressive or having attention difficulties.

Mild head injuries in children deemed harmless by doctors could have long-lasting consequences, according to researchers from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Dr A McKinlay and colleagues found that children hospitalised for a mild head injury before they were 10 were more likely to be hyperactive, and have other behavioural problems, for example, being aggressive or having attention difficulties. Such problems were most common in children who had been admitted to hospital for mild head injuries sometime before their fifth birthday. However, results showed no association between mild head injury and intelligence or academic performance. Head injuries were considered as mild if the child lost consciousness for less than 20 minutes, stayed in the hospital for no more than 2 days, and did not sustain a skull fracture. The authors concluded: "The view that all mild head injuries in children are benign events requires revision." Roughly 90,000 people are hospitalised for mild head injuries in the US each year.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 2002; 73:281-288

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