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long-term impact of traumatic brain injuries in young people

Concerns over the long-term impacts of head injuries have frequently made the news, but the focus has largely been on professional sports players. Researchers have now assessed the long-term impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in young people and looked at the effect on early death, educational attainment, welfare requirements and need for psychiatric care.

The study, published in PLOS Medicine, involved a large number of Swedish people who recorded a TBI (including concussion) before the age of 25 and compared them to siblings and others who had not had these injuries.

Journalists came along to the Science Media Centre to discuss the findings and issues such as:

  • How big an impact does TBI have?
  • How mild can a concussion be and still have these effects?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of a study design like this?
  • Should parents be concerned about every knock to the head?
  • Are there implications for contact sports and protective headgear?
  • Do we know why TBIs have these effects? Can we predict who will be affected?
  • Can anything be done to minimise the long-term impacts of TBIs?

Roundup comments accompanied this briefing.


Speakers will include:

Prof. Seena Fazel, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Dr Peter Jenkins, Neurologist and Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London and St Mary’s Hospital, London

Dr Amir Sariaslan, Postdoctoral Researcher in Epidemiological Psychiatry, University of Oxford

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