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TBIs and ADHD – New Study Documents the Link in Children

Written by Tom Crosley
Brain Injuries, Catastrophic Personal Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially in children, is exactly as its name implies: traumatic. We have detailed the extent of damage TBIs can do to a developing brain in prior blog posts and described in detail the difference between TBIs in adults and children in this short video, but a recent study published in Pediatrics shows that the damage from TBIs can lead to an unlikely issue in addition to other, more apparent effects: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Researchers looking at 113 children ranging from ages six to thirteen who had all suffered some level of TBI concluded that attention issues were more likely to manifest themselves as a result of their head injuries.

Comparing these children to 53 who had experienced trauma unrelated to head injuries, the data showed that those with TBIs had more lapses in attention and a slower internal processing speed when thinking through tasks.

After 18 months, parents and teachers were asked to rate the children who had experienced brain injuries as well as the control group of students on various health indicators. After analyzing the results, the researchers in this study found that those who had TBIs had more anxiety and a tendency to internalize problems in addition to issues with attention and processing speed.

Similar studies on adults who acquired attention issues after TBIs surmised that there was a potential connection between ADHD and brain injuries experienced in childhood. This more recent study seems to confirm that hypothesis.

ADHD can have long-lasting and dramatic effects on a child’s life and can create problems that don’t go away with age. ADHD is a lifelong condition that requires constant management, either with medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, coping issues, or a combination of these treatments.

If you or a loved one has experienced a TBI and/or been injured as a result of another person’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact Crosley Law Firm right away.


Eunjung Cha, A. (2015, August 3). A new type of ADHD? Head injuries in children linked to long-term attention problems. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/08/03/a-new-type-of-adhd-head-injuries-in-children-linked-to-long-term-attention-problems/

Indo-Asian News Service. (2015, August 25). Attention disorder linked to traumatic brain injury: study. News World India. Retrieved from http://newsworldindia.in/lifestyle/attention-disorder-linked-to-traumatic-brain-injury-study/115104/

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