The consequences of the traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children and adolescents represent a major medical and social problem, as TBI interferes in the normal processes of neuroontogenesis. Brain damage in TBI in children and adolescents occurs during the ongoing processes of its growth and maturation, and therefore the clinical course and outcomes may differ significantly from those in adults. Poor outcomes of TBI sustained in early childhood may be explained considerably by the timing of injury in a period of rapid brain and behavioral development. Thus, TBI has a negative impact on the cognitive function development, behavior, school education, and social skills acquisition. Cognitive and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents in the long-term period of TBI become more prominent in co-occurrence with paroxysmal disorders, including posttraumatic headaches, posttraumatic epilepsy, and subclinical epileptiform activity on the EEG. In general, a favorable outcome is possible in children more often than adults even after severe TBI, due to the high neuroplasticity of the developing brain. Therapeutic and rehabilitation measures in the long-term period of TBI in children and adolescents should be intensively carried out both in the first 12 months after TBI, when the most significant results from their use are expected, and in the long-term period, considering the ongoing processes of morpho-functional maturation and neuroplasticity mechanisms.
Part of the book: Advancement and New Understanding in Brain Injury