Surprising Study Results: TBIs Affect Teens More Than Other Groups

A new study reveals that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) affect teens more than any other group. TBIs, as they are known, are common repercussions faced after car accidents.

The Study

The study conducted by Dr. Dave Ellemberg, a University of Montreal professor, looked at the effects of concussions on children (9 to 12-years-old), teens (13 to 16-years-old) and adults, and found that teens suffered more damaging effects to memory, including short-term memory loss, than the other groups.

The study indicated a change in the prevailing wisdom that young people were better able to recover from brain injuries than adults. Dr. Ellemberg indicated that, "For a long time, we believed that the brain of a child was more plastic and could therefore better recover from an accident or stress."

TBI Complications

TBIs can result in long-lasting effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, complications from TBIs include:

  • Cognitive problems, including problems with memory, reasoning, problem solving, multitasking, judgment and decision making
  • Communication problems, including difficulty understanding written and spoken language, nonverbal queues, and starting and stopping conversations
  • Behavior problems, including difficulty with self control, engaging in risky behavior, and outbursts
  • Emotional changes, including depression, mood swings, anxiety and irritability
  • Nerve damage, including loss of vision or facial sensation
  • Seizures

While the focus of Dr. Ellemberg's study was on the impact of sports-related injuries, the results can show the impact on teens who suffer TBIs and concussions in other types of accidents, including car accidents.