Kid brain concussive symptoms last a year

March 7, 2012 at 1:42 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 7 (UPI) -- Cognitive symptoms can persist for 12 months in children who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury, U.S. researchers found.

Keith O. Yeates, director of Behavioral Health Services at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said studies indicate children with mild traumatic brain injury display more post-concussive symptoms than healthy children or children with injuries not involving the head.

Post-concussive symptoms include somatic complaints such as headache or fatigue and cognitive complaints including inattention and forgetfulness, Yeates said.

"Group differences in post-concussive symptoms are most pronounced shortly after injury," Yeates said in a statement. "Comparing group averages is informative, but does not indicate whether individual children show significant increases in post-concussive symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury more commonly than after other injuries. Health providers need to be able to identify children with mild traumatic brain injury who are at risk for persistent post-concussive symptoms so that they can target such children for appropriate management."

Study participants were children ages 8-15, who came to the emergency department with either closed-head trauma or orthopedic injury. Parents were asked to rate their children's pre-injury symptoms and the ratings were then compared to parent symptom ratings post-injury.

The study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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