Summary: Boys who exhibit inattention-hyperactivity by age 10 have an increased risk for traumatic brain injury later in life.
Source: McGill University
McGill-led research shows that boys exhibiting inattention-hyperactivity at age 10 have a higher risk for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in adolescence and adulthood. Treatments to reduce these behaviors may decrease the risk for TBIs.
“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 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. The study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry is the first to show that childhood behaviors identified by teachers such as inattention-hyperactivity predicted subsequent traumatic brain injuries. The study also found that boys who sustained TBIs in childhood were at greater risk of sustaining TBIs in adolescence.
According to the researchers, TBIs occur in approximately 17% of males in the general population, 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 aged six, then administered a questionnaire to the participants’ teachers on classroom behaviours when the participants were aged 10 years.
“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 behavioural problems. Our results suggest that trials are necessary to determine whether these programs can also decrease the risk for subsequent traumatic brain injuries.”
Shirley Cardenas – McGill University
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Original Research: Closed access
“A Prospective Study of Childhood Predictors of Traumatic Brain Injuries Sustained in Adolescence and Adulthood”. Guido Guberman et al.
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry doi:10.1177/0706743719882171.
A Prospective Study of Childhood Predictors of Traumatic Brain Injuries Sustained in Adolescence and Adulthood
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are sustained by approximately 17% of males in the general population, many of whom subsequently present mental disorders, cognitive, and physical problems. Little is known about predictors of TBIs and how to prevent them. The present study aimed to determine whether inattention–hyperactivity and/or all externalizing problems presented by boys at age 10 predict subsequent TBIs to age 34 after taking account of previous TBIs and family social status (FSS).
742 Canadian males were followed, prospectively, from age 6 to 34. Diagnoses of TBIs were extracted from health files, parents-reported sociodemographic and family characteristics at participants’ age 6, and teachers-rated participants’ behaviors at age 10. Separate logistic regression models predicted TBIs sustained from age 11 to 17 and from age 18 to 34. For each age period, two models were computed, one included previous TBIs, inattention–hyperactivity, FSS, and interaction terms, the second included previous TBIs, externalizing problems, FSS, and interaction terms.
In models that included inattention–hyperactivity, TBIs sustained from age 11 to 17 were predicted by age 10 inattention–hyperactivity (odds ratio [OR] = 1.46, 1.05 to 2.05) and by TBIs prior to age 11 (OR = 3.50, 1.48 to 8.24); TBIs sustained from age 18 to 34 were predicted by age 10 inattention–hyperactivity (OR = 1.31, 1.01 to 170). In models that included all externalizing problems, TBIs from age 11 to 17 were predicted by prior TBIs (OR = 3.66, 1.51 to 8.39); TBIs sustained from age 18 to 34 were predicted by age 10 externalizing problems (OR = 1.45, 1.12 to 1.86). Neither FSS nor interaction terms predicted TBIs in any of the models.
Among males, using evidence-based treatments to reduce inattention–hyperactivity and externalizing problems among boys could, potentially, decrease the risk of TBIs to age 34. Further, boys who sustain TBIs in childhood require monitoring to prevent recurrence in adolescence.