This month’s issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics contained an interesting article, Long-Term Intellectual Outcome of Traumatic Brain Injury in Children: Limits to Neuroplasticity of the Young Brain, by Harvey S. Levin.
Dr. Levin reports on two studies from the same children’s hospital with regard to the outcome of children who have sustained traumatic brain injury. Dr. Levin states that “taken together, these studies challenge views long held by clinicians and researchers, including that young children are more resilient to the effects of TBI on intellectual development then older children because of the greater capacity for neuroplasticity. The view that young children have greater capacity for cerebral reorganization of function may find support in early, focal vascular lesions, but not in severe diffused white matter injury. The data reported by Anderson, et al. also challenge the contention that children who sustain early TBI ‘grow into their deficit,’ and extrapolation from experimental lesions in regions of motor cortex and prefrontal cortex in monkeys. Instead, the trajectory of intellectual development after early moderate to severe TBI appears to reflect a consistent lag in comparison with health children.”