Traumatic brain injury risk is higher for hyperactive boys

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Boys who are inattentive and hyperactive at age 10 have a higher risk for traumatic brain injuries in adolescence and adulthood, researchers report.

Treatments to reduce these behaviors may decrease the risk for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), according to the new study.

“Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults…”

“Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults, but little is known about the factors that provoke them,” says Guido Guberman, a doctoral and medical student in the neurology and neurosurgery department at McGill University.

The study is the first to show that childhood behaviors teachers identify such as inattention-hyperactivity predicted subsequent brain injuries. The study also found that boys who sustained TBIs in childhood had a greater risk of sustaining TBIs in adolescence.

TBIs occur in approximately 17% of males in the general population, according to the researchers, yet there is little research about TBI prevention.

To determine whether there is a link between inattention-hyperactivity and TBIs, they analyzed data from 724 Canadian males from age 6 to 34. They examined health files and collected information from parents when participants were 6 years old, then administered a questionnaire to the participants’ teachers on classroom behaviors when the participants were 10.

“To avoid suffering and disability, prevention strategies are needed, for example promoting cyclist safety,” says Guberman.

“There are treatments that can decrease the severity of childhood inattention-hyperactivity and behavioral problems. Our results suggest that trials are necessary to determine whether these programs can also decrease the risk for subsequent traumatic brain injuries.”

Source: McGill University