Traumatic Brain Injury May Increase ADHD Risks for Children, Study Finds
Statistics indicate that around half a million U.S. children are admitted to an emergency room because of a brain injury each year. While most of these kids heal from their injuries, data from a new study may encourage parents to watch their child for signs of ADHD (or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in the years to come. Learn more about this study, and discover how a seasoned personal injury lawyer can assist you in your pursuit for full and fair compensation.
Brain Injuries Linked to Increased Risk of ADHD
U.S. researchers examined the data on 187 children. Of those, 81 were hospitalized overnight for a head injury. Another 106 were hospitalized with injuries not related to the head. While none of them had ADHD at the time of their injuries, 48 (about 26 percent) developed symptoms over the next seven years. Children with head injuries were three times more likely to develop ADHD symptoms when compared to the children who were hospitalized with other injuries. General statistics, which indicate that about one in five children who suffer a brain injury are ultimately diagnosed with ADHD at some point during their childhood, back up the findings of this study.
Researchers say that they do not understand exactly why the link exists and there are some limitations to the study, but changes in brain function and structure are well-documented in TBI studies. In fact, science has linked traumatic brain injuries to a number of health-related issues in adults, including an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s later in life. Being that a child’s brain is still developing, their risk of complications - perhaps even some that may go undetected for years, if not decades - could be significantly higher than an adult’s.
Protecting Your Child After an Injury Has Occurred
Many of the children in the study developed ADHD symptoms within the first year of their injury. Other factors, such as having a mother with limited education or living in a dysfunctional family, were found to further increase a child’s risk of developing ADHD after a brain injury. Alternatively, children who returned to school as soon as they were able seemed to have a lower risk of developing ADHD following a head injury. As such, study authors encourage parents to help their child gradually return to school as their condition improves.
Another way that parents can protect their children after a head injury is to ensure they pursue full and fair compensation in a fault-related accident. Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help. Seasoned and experienced, our Green Bay child injury lawyers always fight for the most favorable outcome possible in a case. Get started by scheduling your free initial consultation. Call 920-739-7366 today.